Simmons Continues Heartland Deconstruction

Simmons Continues Heartland Deconstruction
George Makris Jr., CEO of Simmons First National Corp. (Karen E. Segrave)

The countdown to folding Heartland Bank operations into Simmons Bank is under the 60-day mark.

“That transaction won’t close until February,” said George Makris, chairman and chief executive officer of Simmons First National Corp.

The sale of three Heartland branches to Relyance Bank of Pine Bluff is expected to close during the first quarter as well. The offices are at 4937 Hwy. 5 N. in Bryant, 610 W. Fourth St. in Fordyce and 108 S. Main St. in Sheridan.

“Our guys have done a good job of going in and shoring up the bank,” Makris said. “Heartland had their problems, but they also had some really good business, and we hope to keep that business.”

Still taking shape is the sale of Heartland’s biggest real estate asset: Rock Plaza, the 54,772-SF office building at 1 Information Way in Little Rock’s Riverdale area.

“We’ve had several parties express an interest in that building,” Makris said.

Simmons is focusing its office efforts on occupying the 188,460-SF Acxiom headquarters at 601 E. Third St. in downtown Little Rock.

The 12-story office building and supporting five-story parking deck were purchased by Simmons last year for $25 million.

About 100 Simmons staffers are working there in advance of a floor-by-floor renovation to be completed this year.