By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – An upscale Fairpark office is full of workers again, after sitting empty for nearly two years.
On Friday, Trustmark Bank celebrated the grand opening of its newest branch at 110 E. Main St., Suite A. The branch has 15 employees and includes bank, mortgage and insurance services.
“We’re thrilled to be here,” said Charles Russell, president of the bank’s Tupelo and Fulton branches. “The Fairpark district is a great place to be. … We’ve liked this place from the beginning.”
The offices, formerly the Tupelo home of Stanford Financial Group, have been empty since federal agents raided the building in 2009 and ownership was transferred to a court-appointed receiver. The receiver auctioned the building to help recover money lost by investors. Tupelo businessman V.M. Cleveland won the auction and is leasing the building to Trustmark.
Allen Stanford, the founder of Stanford Financial, is charged with masterminding a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $7.2 billion. Two of his top executives – James “Jim” Davis and Laura Pendergest-Holt of Baldwyn – had offices in the Fairpark building.
The building still bears many reminders of its former occupants, from the banker-green carpets to the green marble in the lobby.
But Davis’ large corner office upstairs is now a board room, devoid of a mahogany desk and the flat-screen TV that used to occupy the space.
Trustmark has finished out the rest of the second floor for its insurance department.
The Fairpark branch replaces Trustmark’s branch at 216 S. Broadway St. in downtown Tupelo.
“It’s so different from what we’re used to,” said Stephanie Baldwyn in Trustmark’s human resources department. “We’re still pinching ourselves.”
ADDRESS: 110 E. Main St., Suite A
PHONE: (662) 841-2983
PRESIDENT: Charles Russell
EMPLOYEES: 15 in banking, mortgage and insurance services
HOURS: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The bank also has an ATM on the exterior of its building.