First Financial Bank Breaks Ground on Downtown Columbus

May 26, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ind. May 23, 2011-Local residents, community leaders and First Financial Bank associates gathered today to celebrate the start of construction at the site of the new First Financial banking center and office complex located in the heart of downtown Columbus.

“This is an exciting day for all of us at First Financial. We’re committed to investing in the area to continue building strong, long-term relationships with our clients, local businesses and the community,” said Claude Davis, First Financial president and CEO. “Columbus is a key part of First Financial’s growth strategy and future plans. We look forward to creating an innovative and engaging environment for our associates and clients.”

By the time the new facility is complete, First Financial will have invested more than $5 million in new and enhanced facilities in Columbus since 2008. This includes significant improvements to the Westhill, Eastbrook and Creekview banking centers and the downtown project starting this week.

“We’re pleased to be working with a trusted and long time local business in Columbus to build this state-of-the-art building,” said Al Roszczyk, First Financial senior vice president of commercial lending. “We look forward to working with Dunlap & Company to bring our first prototype banking center to the area.”

The building, which will include more than 21,000 square feet, will be the first in Columbus to be built using First Financial’s new award-winning prototype design. The open and accessible interior will include visual merchandising as well as engaging retail graphics to “take the client on a journey” that will remind them of defining moments of success in their lives.

Clients will find a full complement of retail, commercial lending, and wealth management services as well as teller and ATM drive-thru service at the new facility. The new building will also incorporate several elements that reflect the company’s commitment to sustainability, including:

  • High-performance, energy-efficient building envelope materials
  • White roofing membrane to reduce heat absorption from sunlight
  • Special window tinting to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in summer
  • High efficiency and automatically controlled HVAC equipment
  • Lighting controls which reduce electrical waste during non-business hours

Until construction on the new facility is complete in early 2012, drive-thru and lobby service will remain at the current 500 Washington Street location.

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About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of March 31, 2011, the company had $6.3 billion in assets, $4.1 billion in loans, $5.2 billion in deposits and $708 million in shareholders’ equity. The company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its three lines of business: business banking, personal banking and wealth management. First Financial Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately $2.4 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2011. The company’s strategic operating markets are located in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky where it operates 102 banking centers. Additional information about the company, including its products, services and banking center locations is available at www.bankatfirst.com.