Reflecting the continuing commercial boom in Northern Virginia, a group of prominent local investors is raising money to start a new bank in the Tysons Corner area which will be designed to serve the increasingly active region.
The investors behind the Commercial Bank of Tysons Corner plan to seek as customers the merchants, businesses and real estate investors already in that area, as well as those moving there.
"We'd like to say we're a wholesale, full-service bank for the businesses going into that area," said Robert Dennerline, the bank's vice president for real estate and investments.
"So many of the banks in Tysons are headquartered in Richmond and Lynchburg," Dennerline said. "I think people are enthused about having a truly local bank."
The bank's sponsors are attempting to raise the $2 million needed to get the bank off the ground through a $10-a-share stock sale, with each investor required to purchase at least 100 shares.
Establishment of the bank, including legal and other expenses, is estimated to cost about $40,000, and the bank's board is considering several candidates for president. The chairman of the bank's initial board of directors is George Kettle, a wellknown Northern Virginia real estate executive.
Kettle, president and regional owner of Century 21 Corp. of Northern Virginia, is also among the investors in a Marriott hotel being built at Tysons Corner.
Other members of the bank's board include Dennerline; Walter L. Green, former chairman of Hamilton Bank, chairman of Metropolitan Bank, chairman of Metropolitan Federal Savings and Loan and a member of the board of Suburban Trust Co.; Robert Jerome, a consultant and former official of Kimberly-Clark Corp.; Gus Levathes, a small-business consultant; and Milton Lipsner, past chairman of the Bank of Arlington. Each director has 200 shares of the bank's stock.
The bank received its charter from the Virginia state government on April 21 and plans to open around the beginning of 1981. Commercial Bank's management is considering three sites in the Tysons vicinity for its first office.
Using newspaper advertising and solicitations, the directors already have sold between 30 percent and 40 percent of the bank's initial stock offering. "A lot of people hear about us and really like bank stocks," Dennerline said. "Also a lot of people believe in Tysons' commerical growth."
Regional economic officials say there are as much as 2.5 million square feet of office space on the drawing board for that region, which some already are calling the "financial center of Northern Virginia." Demerline, who runs a consulting and brokerage business, calls the Fairfax County real estate market "tremendous" and says Commercial Bank will have a "substantial loan portfolio."
Nevertheless, the bank's backers are aware of the competition in the area and of the services the larger bank holding companies can offer that, at least initially, the smaller bank cannot.
"Such other commercial banks are much larger institutions than the bank in terms of capital, resources and personnel, have larger lending limits and are able to offer more services than the bank," the directors noted in their offering circular.
In addition, the offering noted that the competition is growing in the financial arena, with a new bank such as this one fighting with credit unions, small loan companies, insurance companies and others for a share of the suburban marketplace.