MVB has scheduled a community meeting next month to discuss its project. "On Nov. 5 we're inviting our hope-to-be neighbors to Shiloh Baptist Church, 5 to 7 p.m., to show them our plans," Mazza said. "We don't want to come in and barnstorm this. We want to do the right thing."
If the Washington Street site doesn't work out, MVB has other options, he said.
"We still want to come to Charleston. We're looked at Kanawha City. We think that's an excellent location." In fact, MVB could open a second branch in Kanawha City, he said.
"We don't want to be a one-hit wonder. That won't happen tomorrow."
Founded just 15 years ago as Monongahela Valley Bank, MVB now bills itself as "Your Most Valuable Bank," as folks driving to football games in Morgantown may have seen. The company has four branches between Bridgeport and Morgantown, two in the Eastern Panhandle, and plans to open four more in those areas in the next year.
"In the last 13 quarters [just over three years] we've had 99 percent growth," Mazza said. "For our shareholders, for the last 10 years we've returned 9 percent, when other banks were losing money."
According to the latest figures, MVB is the 11th largest bank company in West Virginia by market share, he said. "If you look at it today, we're in the top 10. We're definitely the fastest growing."
Even so, with deposits approaching $500 million or 1.5 percent of the West Virginia market, MVB has a ways to go to challenge no. 1 BB&T's $5.4 billion (18 percent) or no. 2 United Bank's $3.6 billion (12 percent). That's why it's moving into Charleston, Mazza said.
"We believe as a West Virginia bank, we want and have to be in Charleston. It's a $4 billion market. So it's rich for deposits, which is good for growth. It's rich for talent. It's the richest in banking talent in the state. And Charleston is the seat of government.
"You need to be in Charleston if you want to be a player. Banks have to grow or they don't return for their shareholders.
"It's excellent competition. I worked for One Valley/BB&T. It is fierce competition. It's like the restaurant business -- "Gee whiz, we don't need another pizza stand, another pizza restaurant.' But we have a differentiation. Maybe we look like Mighty Mouse."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.