PNC trims branch in downtown Elizabethtown

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South Central Bank plans to build a new location on Dixie

By Ben Sheroan

PNC Bank closed its West Dixie branch in Elizabethtown for the final time Friday.

The two-story building, less than three blocks from the courthouse, once served as headquarters for First Hardin National Bank. Constructed in 1963 and remodeled after a fire in 1995, it contains more than 16,000-square feet and five drive-thru lanes, making it much larger than a typical bank branch. Much of the facility has been unused.

Employees at the bank referred all questions to the corporate communications staff in Pittsburgh. Amy Vargo from that office said she was not familiar with details regarding the business decision. She said the building at 227 W. Dixie Ave. will be sold.

Elizabethtown city government officials were aware of PNC’s plans and have offered assistance to the company in its search for a new owner or a tenant, Mayor Tim Walker said. The building is adjacent to the Historic State Theater and has more than 50 parking spaces.

PNC will continue to operate its Elizabethtown branches on North Dixie Avenue near the hospital and on North Mulberry Street at its intersection with Ring Road. Vargo said both those locations are conveniently located two miles or less from the West Dixie branch. PNC also has a branch in Radcliff at the intersection of Dixie and Lincoln Trail boulevards.

In the days before Kentucky allowed banks to establish locations across county lines, First Hardin operated 11 branches in Hardin County, according to its former president Lamonte Hornback.

First Hardin was sold in 1984 to Citizens Fidelity’s bank-holding company based in Louisville. It became a part of PNC in 1987.

Another bank also plans to close a branch in Elizabethtown this month. South Central Bank’s facility on Wilson Road at the intersection with North Dixie is expected to close March 31.

The company’s lease on the property is set to expire and it plans to build a new branch on Dixie Avenue between Ring Road and the U.S. 31W Bypass, said Bill Feltner, South Central local president. Closing on the land acquisition is scheduled for April 15 with construction to begin later this year.

Feltner said the new location will be more visible and more easily accessible. The construction decision is consistent with South Central’s goal to improve services and become a “bigger player” in Hardin County, Feltner said.

Throughout the transition, South Central Bank’s office at 2809 Ring Road will be open for business.

Ben Sheroan can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or bsheroan@thenewsenterprise.com.