Southern First to open 2nd Lowcountry branch in Mount Pleasant

By Ashley Barker
Published Jan. 7, 2014

Construction will soon begin on a 3,600-square-foot Southern First Bank branch in Mount Pleasant.

The second Lowcountry office is being built at the corner of Shelmore and Johnnie Dodds boulevards. President Justin Strickland said it should open in August. He said the company recently received its building permit and plans to begin construction this week.

Len Howell, who has more than 30 years of banking experience, is the regional executive in the Charleston market, according to Strickland. Howell will be responsible for hiring five new employees for the Mount Pleasant branch.

The bank’s holding company, Southern First Bancshares Inc. was established in 1999 and is headquartered in Greenville, according to its website. It expanded in 2007 to Columbia and in 2012 to Charleston. There are now four Greenville branches and three Columbia branches. The initial Charleston office is located at 480 E. Bay St., suite F.

“We’re constantly looking at what’s the right location for us,” Strickland said. “It was really easy to realize that it’s a necessity for us to be in Mount Pleasant, with the growth it’s experiencing. We’re taking each location one step at a time and haven’t set our sights on other locations.”

Mount Pleasant-based SouthCon Building Group LLC is the contracting company working on the project.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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