Posted on Apr 14, 2021
When Paul Cross and Randy Bachtel need financing and support to transform distressed properties into new spaces, they know they can turn to NWSB Bank and commercial lender Drew Heck.
As a community bank, we’re committed to local businesses. We work directly with our customers to understand their unique vision for every project.
Every business has a story—this one is all about making what’s old, new again.
Finding potential hidden in plain sight
For many, old, abandoned, and run-down buildings are only fit for demolition. But for Paul and Randy, this is where things get interesting.
“We purchase distressed commercial and residential properties in need of rehabilitation. We then renovate, update, and repurpose them for a new generation of tenants,” said Cross.
The pair and their team have been working to transform and re-develop spaces throughout Carroll County since 2005. They approach each project as a new opportunity and work within existing structures to maintain historic integrity.
Bringing New Life to The Westminster Inn
Their most recent project has also been one of the most challenging.
In a multi-year, multi-phase renovation, Paul and Randy transformed the Westminster Inn and East End Athletic Complex into a mixed-use facility.
This one square block has seen a lot of changes over the years. It was originally Westminster High School, then, in the 1990s, it was converted into a bed and breakfast, and at one point was even a site for the YMCA. When Paul and Randy found it, it had been unoccupied for many years and fallen into decay.
A key to their success is to create a plan and a budget.
“We never buy a property without a vision for the project and a budget. We enjoy the challenge of bringing [buildings] back to life and overcoming financial, governmental, and construction obstacles to make it happen.”
The Westminster Inn site now hosts retail shops, a gymnastics facility, a co-working space, photography studio, and high-end residential apartments.
“By balancing the tenants, income, and renovations the building has found its identity and a new life,” said Cross. “We are proud of how we have re-purposed this building while saving much of its historic charm.”
Local teams help reinvest in the community
Paul and Randy believe in keeping things local.
“We rely heavily on other local talented individuals to help us navigate new projects,” said Cross. “We are proud of the fact that most of our talented professionals and tradesmen are primarily from Carroll County. Keeping our investment dollars in the local community.”
This philosophy is also why they choose to bank with a community bank.
“It is difficult to visualize and assess the risk of what we do from far away,” said Cross. “Local banks know who you are and whether you can deliver on the promises you ask them to invest in.”
A strong relationship with your lender and your bank can make all the difference. This was especially helpful to Paul and Randy during the renovation of the Westminster Inn.
“Our needs were far too challenging for a regional bank official in another state to comprehend. It needed hands on review. Drew Heck, the Commercial Loan Officer, and Tom Rasmussen, the [Maryland] President of the bank, visited the property and met with us on numerous occasions. No regional bank has ever shown the level of service that NWSB did.”
With a community bank like NWSB Bank, decisions are made locally by a team that understands and is committed to serving the community. Our commercial lenders specialize in helping local businesses find the services they need to meet their goals. Our team can help with equipment loans, construction loans, commercial real estate, and more.
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