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Bank of America opens Drake financial center, plans return to south Des Moines

Bank also plans $1 million investment in new West Des Moines location


Bank of America on Friday announced several changes to its Greater Des Moines banking footprint, including a new financial center at 2650 University Ave., located just south of the Drake University campus.

The financial center, which opened on May 2, replaces the bank’s Ingersoll Avenue location. The bank is located in a mixed-used building that was developed and built by Nelson Construction & Development. 

For Bank of America, “it’s been a project that’s been in the works for several years,” said Heidi Parkhurst, president of Bank of America Iowa. “When we identified this market for growth, we started looking around the community at where we would want to add facilities. … So we got in on the ground floor — literally.”

Additionally, Bank of America announced that it is investing an additional $1 million to move and expand its West Des Moines location. Currently located at 3400 Westown Parkway, the location is an “advanced center” that connects customers via videoconference for service. The bank plans to replace the Westown Parkway location with a financial center in the Galleria at Jordan Creek, 6630 Mills Civic Parkway, with a format similar to the new University Avenue center. The Galleria financial center is expected to open in December.  

As financial centers, the two locations offer access to all eight lines of business offered by Bank of America, including retail banking, lending and small business services, as well as personalized financial guidance through its Merrill Lynch brokerage subsidiary.

“Bank of America has been serving clients in Iowa for over 100 years through Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, lending to and supporting the growth of local businesses, and through active involvement in the communities we serve,” Parkhurst said in a prepared statement. “Our new financial centers enable us to deliver high-tech, high-touch service and a full range of capabilities that can help to further enhance the financial lives of our clients.”

Bank of America has also broken ground on a south Des Moines advanced center that will be located on Army Post Road adjacent to the Hy-Vee Gas store, said Ben Cox, senior vice president and consumer market leader with Bank of America based in Kansas City. The bank had closed its south Des Moines location in 2017, as well as its downtown branch in 2016, as part of a consolidation of locations.

“It’s an exciting venture back into south Des Moines, because that area is really underserved right now,” Cox said. “We have an opportunity to get back down there to really invest in that community.” The center will feature a full drive-thru and ATM and videoconferencing connection to bankers for all lines of business, he said. That location is scheduled to open in spring 2023.

The south Des Moines location will be a fourth location for Bank of America, which currently has three financial centers and eight ATMs in Greater Des Moines, including an Urbandale location. The company also operates three Merrill Lynch offices in Iowa, with locations in West Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport.

Parkhurst said Bank of America staff members in Iowa are now being trained using a virtual reality training system, which she experienced herself for the first time last week.

The bank has a $470 million commercial loan portfolio in Iowa and $62 million in small business loans outstanding, as well as $45 million in home loans in Iowa and $1.3 billion in FDIC-insured deposits, according to a Bank of America fact sheet.

In 2023, Bank of America plans to open new Nebraska banking locations, with two financial centers initially planned in Omaha, Cox said.

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article misattributed the developer of the mixed-used building project that houses the financial center near Drake. 


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