Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Florida Community Bank fuels Synovus' Florida growth

Formed in 2009, Bond Street Holdings raised $740 million and became the most acquisitive buyer of failed Florida banks in the years after the Great Recession, scooping up eight banks and a ninth that hadn’t failed. It took one of those failed banks, Florida Community Bank, an $800-million asset institution that went under in 2010, and folded all its Florida acquisitions into a new Florida Community Bank based in Weston.

Florida Community grew into the second-largest Florida-based bank behind Coral Gables-based BankUnited; in July, Georgia-based Synovus Financial acquired Florida Community for $2.9 billion in an all-stock deal. Florida Community had 50 branches, $9.9 billion in deposits and $12.2 billion in assets and a presence in four of the top 10 Florida markets in which Synovus didn’t have a presence, including South Florida, the fastest-growing market in one of the nation’s largest economies.

Synovus, now one of the five largest regional banks in the Southeast, has been in Florida for 30 years, with a presence in Pensacola, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Sarasota and Naples. The deal will take it to 98 branches and 2% of the state’s deposits.

The deal is expected to close early in 2019. Kent Ellert, Florida Community Bank CEO, becomes Synovus executive vice president and Florida market president. In an investment call, Ellert said the deal with Synovus was “about finding the very best outcome.”

“Our view is this is a very attractive acquisition strategically for our shareholders,” he said.

Business Briefs for Southeast Florida


  • Gift of Life Marrow Registry, the national bone marrow registry, leased the 17,465-sq.-ft. penthouse at Sabre Center I, owned by real estate investment group Grover Corlew.
  • Hair Club for Men relocated its corporate office to Palmetto Place @ Boca Raton, another Grover Corlew property.


  • Nova Southeastern University welcomed 300 incoming medical students to its Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) programs. The 53 incoming M.D. students are the charter class of the new Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine.


  • Pennsylvania- based industrial property developer Exeter Property Group broke ground on two of three spec industrial buildings it’s building near the Sawgrass Expressway and is renovating an existing building.


  • An ownership company called SMIR 3001 hired commercial real estate firm Avison Young’s Florida Capital Markets Group to market a site in front of Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino that is zoned for 202,380 square feet of hospitality, office or mixed-use with retail space. Buildings can be up to 20 stories.


  • Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Aircraft is laying off 500 after government demand for its helicopters fell.


  • Spirit Airlines expanded its headquarters by 26,287 square feet at Miramar Park of Commerce, where it employs 1,000, taking its total to 97,106 square feet. The company says it expects additional growth.


  • Tuttle Land Development closed on $14.7 million in loans to buy an additional 100-acre site needed for Tuttle Royal, a proposed 200- acre mixed-use project at Southern Boulevard with a projected 1,100 residential units and medical offices, a hotel, charter school, retail and fitness and recreation amenities. Real estate investment and merchant banking firm Aztec Group arranged the financing with Miami lender Lion Financial.


  • Three agencies are teaming with the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program to fund $2.4 million to convert the Whitfield subdivision and 54 properties from septic to sewer. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the St. Johns River Water Management District and Indian River County are partnering with the program on the project. Runoff from septic systems has been implicated in the myriad water quality problems in the estuary.


  • Chicago investment advisory and financial planning firm Cresset Wealth Advisors and Memphis, Tenn., manufacturer Mueller Industries plan to open offices in CityPlace Tower downtown. Mueller’s international division will be based in the new office. The company makes copper tubing and other products.


Printer and direct mail company Nordis Technologies’ patent-pending Expresso program allows businesses to integrate communications and billing. A health care company, for example, can include a pitch for a yoga class for new moms in a billing to an expectant mother. Nordis has 91 of its 113 employees in Florida. The Coral Springs company forecasts more than 20% revenue growth this year with 150 million pages of print mail and 12.5 million electronic communications.


  • JM Family Enterprises Chairman Colin Brown becomes chair of the CEO Council of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward’s public-private economic development entity. The CEO Council is made up of executives from the top private sector investors in the alliance. Founded in 2009, it had been chaired by Nova Southeastern University Chancellor Ray Ferrero Jr., who becomes chair emeritus.
  • The Indian River Chamber of Commerce in Vero Beach hired Winter Park Planning and Community Development Director Dori Stone as its president, replacing Penny Chandler, who retired in May after 37 years in chamber management. Stone had been a Winter Park department director for more than eight years.


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