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Sign technicians from Metairie-based Signworx, LLC work around a Capital One 'cabinet sign,' hooking it up to be hoisted away at the Capital One Bank location at 6920 Bluebonnet Blvd., at the intersection with Anselmo Lane earlier this year. Capital One has closed four other local branches since April.

Capital One keeps trimming its branch footprint, closing another 13 Louisiana locations this year, but the real estate remains attractive for buyers. 
 
Five Baton Rouge Capital One branches closed since April: a location in downtown Baker, one on Bluebonnet Boulevard between the Mall of Louisiana and Perkins Rowe, another near the intersection of Bluebonnet and Burbank Drive, on Hooper Road in Central and on La. 73 in Prairieville. There are now 10 branches within a 20 mile radius of the city. 
 
There are already several former bank branches for sale locally, with prices ranging between $450,000 to $1.5 million.
 
"Banks are usually well constructed and typically in a good location. They are good pieces of property," said Mike Stinson, a commercial real estate agent with Saurage Rotenberg Real Estate. "We fielded calls from so many people and different types of businesses like loan companies, attorneys and physical therapy offices."
 
Stinson is selling a former MidSouth Bank branch on Sherwood Forest in Baton Rouge for $495,000 which covers 3,089 square feet. 
 
Former Capital One branches in Baton Rouge have been bought or leased by other banks such as locally-owned b1Bank and Mississippi-based Bancorp South. A former Capital One branch on Government Street was purchased by a local developer who plans to put a "high-end" development on the site.
Often bank branches are retrofitted for different companies. A former bank in Prairieville turned into an urgent care. 
 
"They walled in the drive through to add some interior square footage," Stinson said. 
 
The real estate broker just sold a different former bank branch in Prairieville near Highways 44 and 42 intersection which is expected to become a retail location. A former bank on Jones Creek Road was retrofitted into a dentists office. 

The shift is caused by customers doing more of their banking online or through apps.

"Capital One over the years sort of leaned into the closing branches in conjunction with building of our more national banking business," Andrew Young chief financial officer of Capital One told investors on an earnings call. "We spent so much energy on creating a (digital) experience that doesn't need to have a branch on every corner."
 

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But the company recognized that not all customers have adopted digital banking so it looks to keep some physical locations open and has stand alone 24-hour ATMs for cash withdrawals and deposits. 
 
Capital One had about 100 branches statewide last year but closed 14 locations in 2020 and had closed 16 locations in 2019.  
 
Features editor Karen Martin contributed to this story. 


Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.