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GB&T building gets new owner, first tenant
Rep. Nathan Deal will move local office to former Gainesville bank
The former Gainesville Bank and Trust Building on Jesse Jewell Parkway has been sold and has its first tenant, the office of U.S. Rep Nathan Deal - photo by Tom Reed

The building that was the headquarters for Gainesville Bank & Trust has been sold to a family enterprise headed by prominent Gainesville attorney W.A. "Dub" Bagwell.

The three-story, 30,000-square-foot building at 500 Jesse Jewell Parkway was vacated earlier this year when GB&T Bancshares completed its merger with SunTrust.

The building was previously owned jointly by Gainesville businessman Don Carter and GB&T. Carter acquired the GB&T portion from SunTrust and then sold the building to Bagwell.

William Bagwell, the son of W.A. Bagwell, said the building is a natural fit for his family. The Bagwell family already owns four buildings in the Gainestown Office Park, which is adjacent to the bank building.
The new owners have already landed their first tenant. U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, will move his offices to the new building on Jan. 1. Deal presently has offices in Wachovia Center.

"We feel fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time and we feel it is a good building," said William Bagwell, who is managing the property.

The building included most of the furnishings used by GB&T and the first floor has a teller line, drive-in windows and vault ready to accommodate a bank.

"With the number of banks in the Northeast Georgia, we hope that someone might consider it to be a good location," he said.

The upper two floors have executive office space and conference rooms, which William Bagwell said are ready for immediate occupancy.

"It is basically a ready-to-go building," William Bagwell said.

The building was built as the main office of GB&T. In the early days, the upper floors were rented to other tenants.

However, as the bank grew and expanded with its holding company, GB&T Bancshares, the entire building eventually filled with banking and corporate offices.

In July, GB&T completed its merger with SunTrust. Two other locations that closed as a result of the merger, a GB&T branch on Dawsonville Highway and a SunTrust branch at College Square Shopping Center in Oakwood, have either been sold or rented to other financial institutions.

The Dawsonville Highway location is now the sole Hall County branch of Georgia's Own Credit Union, while the Oakwood building has been purchased by the organizers of the proposed Home Federal Bank, which is currently conducting a stock offering.

William Bagwell concedes that with a soft economy, finding a primary tenant may take some time and his family is prepared for that. "But a good piece of real estate is a good piece of real estate at any time," he said.

The new owners have not renamed the building, but said they plan to do so in the future.

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