POWAY, CA-Discovery Valley Bank will open a loan production office here during the first quarter of 2003.

The year-old bank leased a1,500-sf former Wells Fargo location in a Von’s-anchored retail center at 13436 Poway Rd., near the corner of Community and Poway Roads. Bank President and CEO Jim Kelley tells GlobeSt.com the new office will offer commercial real estate, accounts receivable, equipment financing, leases, lines of credit and SBA loans.

The Poway location will be Discovery Valley Bank’s second location. Its main office is in San Marcos. Kelley says the bank was launched by former bank executives who raised $8 million in capital. He says more than 50% of the bank’s lending is real estate related.

If the Poway office shows the appropriate growth, it could be turned into a full-service community bank by the end of the year. “We’re seeding the community with the loan production office and once it gets to size, we’ll make it a full office,” says Kelley, explaining that the location already has the requisite vault and teller stations.

Since opening in September 2001, Discovery Valley Bank has seen its loan portfolio grow steadily to $32.9 million by the end of September 2002, a pace that exceeded its original business plan. Kelley says he expects to end the year with $45 million in assets and $38 million in loans. “This tells us there’s an unmet demand for the type of service that a community bank can offer in providing and servicing loans,” says Kelley.

The Poway location has been vacant for six months. It was most recently occupied by Wells Fargo, which bought the previous bank tenant, North County Bank. “Poway now has only national banks,” says Kelley. “We think it needs a community bank.”

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