Legacy Bank’s Roots Run Deep in the Altoona Region

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Not many businesses can say they’re celebrating their 117th birthday. But Legacy Bank has managed to navigate the changing and often turbulent world of the last century – including not one but two global pandemics – and have continually evolved to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Brad Pfaltzgraff, Chief Operating Officer, has been with Legacy Bank for 15 years. He says that his company’s longevity comes down to keeping each bank closely engrained in its community.

“At our Altoona branch, for example, nearly all of our employees live right here in town. As a customer, you walk into the bank and you see familiar faces. These are the same people you see at the grocery store, around the neighborhood, or at the local football game. I think that’s really important, to make your business part of the community.”

Today, Legacy Bank has three branches in the eastern Des Moines suburbs (Altoona, Bondurant and Mitchellville) and one in the western suburbs (Clive). The company, originally Farmers Savings Bank, opened its first branch in the small town of Ira, Iowa, in 1904. They moved to Mitchellville following the Great Depression.

In many ways, Legacy Bank’s evolution since moving to eastern Polk County matches the evolution of the region. In 1936, when the bank first moved to Mitchellville, the eastern suburbs of Des Moines were heavily centered on agriculture. Decade by decade, these communities grew and evolved, welcoming new industries and residents, and Legacy Bank evolved alongside them.

In 1994, the bank opened a new branch in Altoona. Many of their customers were now from the community, and they could see that it was growing. Around the same time, they expanded their offerings to serve not only agriculture, but also construction, personal, commercial and other types of businesses in the greater Des Moines region.

A few years later, they changed their name to Legacy Bank to reflect their more diversified portfolio of clients. But they kept their signature look – red-brick, colonial-style buildings – to honor their history and show that, while the bank’s capabilities had changed, their values hadn’t. Whether they were serving farmers or new families, their focus was on building personal relationships with their clients and the communities they serve.

“Being a family-owned bank, we really specialize in serving families and family-owned businesses in the area,” said Brad.

When we spoke with Brad, Altoona had, despite the pandemic, recently emerged from a record-setting year in investment in residential development. This is part of a long-term growth trend for the city. Over the last few decades, Altoona’s population has nearly doubled, and its business scene has grown expansively. Due to the city’s strategic location along I-80 just east of Des Moines, its skilled workforce, as well as its development-ready land and business-friendly environment, Altoona has welcomed numerous businesses in sectors ranging from retail and entertainment to manufacturing, logistics and data.

As the community continues to grow, Legacy Bank plans to nearly double the size of their Altoona office. Brad says they hope to break ground this summer and complete the project in the spring of 2022.

“The community of Altoona is definitely pro-growth,” he said. “I think we’re on the cusp of taking that growth to the next level. And yet, as Altoona continues to grow, it still feels like a small town at heart. For all businesses that are looking for a new home, Altoona is a great opportunity and a fantastic place to be.”

Click here to learn more about doing business in Altoona, Iowa.