LRA awarded bid for Lee Heritage Bank

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

LEESBURG, Ga. -- HeritageBank of the South officials announced Thursday that LRA Constructors of Albany has been awarded the bid to build a 10,000-square-foot Lee County branch at 104 Heritage Lane.

LRA was one of three local contractors invited to bid on the $2.5 million project, which will be part of a Lee County retail growth area along the U.S. Highway 19 corridor between Albany and Leesburg. Already set to open in that area are the Publix at Lee Crossings shopping complex and a CVS Pharmacy.

"We're really excited about this project; it's a good job for us right here in town," LRA Secretary/Treasurer John Reese said Thursday. "There are some beautiful interior finishes built into the design and as with any bank, with the drive-through lanes, a vault and other requirements, our crew will really have to pay attention to detail."

Part of the bid package for the Heritage branch, designed by Maschke Associates, called for local subcontractors to have an opportunity to bid on the project. HeritageSouth Vice President for Marketing Mary Beth Hobby said local businesses -- and Heritage customers -- Drawdy Roofing, Art Sign Co. and Concrete Enterprises were among the subs selected to work on the project.

"Getting our local businesses -- and, we're proud to say, some of our good customers -- involved in the bidding process is a point of pride for us," Hobby said. "We try to concentrate as much as possible on local businesses and keeping money in the market we serve."

Reese said including local subcontractors in the process was not a drawback for LRA.

"First of all, all of the subs are from right around here, so that's a plus," he said. "And those that have been chosen to participate in this project work in trades that we would have subbed out anyway.

"It's not unusual to have (such a stipulation) in a bid package. It allows the bank to pay back its customers for their loyalty."

Also approved to design the project landscaping is Merry Acres Landscaping.

The new HeritageBank branch, which is designed to give the bank a greater presence in one of the state's top growth areas, will include 8,000 square feet of heated space and another 2,000 square feet of covered drive-through and ATM lanes.

HeritageBank of the South has 16 locations from Ocala, Fla., to Albany, and from Albany to Statesboro. Five of the branches are in the Albany metro area.

Bank officials have scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for Thursday at 11 a.m. Reese said construction should be under way by Sept. 1.

"We're looking at being under construction for about nine months," Reese said.

Heritage Lee County Market President Jimmy Wilson said Monday the bank is looking at an April 2011 completion date.