When Stockman Bank opened a branch at 1450 Shiloh Road 12 years ago, employees sometimes joked about working at a frontier outpost.
At the time, Shiloh Road was a narrow, two-lane road that wasn’t quite ready to handle the additional traffic generated by a community steadily expanding toward the west.
“We were pioneers out there,” said Wayne Nelson, Billings market president for Stockman Bank. “When we built that bank, it was a little smaller. It was built in order to deal with our customers in the northwestern part of the city.”
Fast-forward a dozen years and it’s clear that Stockman Bank was in the right place at the right time.
“We knew that growth was headed that way. It was a location we liked, and obviously the growth has come around,” Nelson said.
About the time that Stockman Bank completed its Shiloh branch, the Montana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration embarked on an environmental assessment to explore options for improving Shiloh Road. Studies at the time showed that traffic would increase from about 13,000 vehicles per day in 2002 to 40,000 vehicles per day by 2027.
After extensive study, the final design for the Shiloh Road expansion included building eight roundabouts to improve safety and ease traffic flow. Shiloh Road was completed in 2010 at a cost of $48 million. The project helped unleash a new era of growth.
“Since we built out there, several subdivisions have been developed in that part of town, and most of them have filled up,” Nelson said. “And when you think about it, the growth along Shiloh isn’t done. When you think about the housetops that have grown up around there the last 12 years, it’s incredible.”
The growth means more business at Stockman’s Shiloh Branch.
“The branch is a full-service bank and we needed more people there,” Nelson said. After the lunch room and even a closet were converted for work space, managers decided that an expansion was in order.
Work on the 2,300-square-foot addition began last summer and was completed in early 2014. CTA Architects Engineers did the design, and Hardy Construction was the general contractor.
Stockman’s renovation of its Shiloh branch is part of a multiyear expansion in Billings. Last year, Stockman opened a new branch at 14th Street West and Grand Avenue. In 2012, Stockman completed a branch in downtown Billings.
And for the Shiloh Road branch, it’s no longer the frontier.