There's nothing like the threat of a corporate relocation to prod government economic development officials into action.

ServisFirst Bank in Birmingham, Ala., flirted with the idea of moving its headquarters to neighboring Georgia or Tennessee as part of its growth plans, Chief Executive Tom Broughton said in an interview Monday.

But, thanks to state and local tax incentives, the bank has decided to stay put -- sort of.

The $5.1 billion-asset ServisFirst will build a 100,000 square-foot building in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood for its new headquarters office. The move is scheduled for early 2018, and ServisFirst will own and fully occupy the building.

The state of Alabama and city of Homewood provided tax credits for the development, Broughton said.

"You cannot build headquarters locations affordably without economic incentives," Broughton said.

The new facility will have room for 440 employees, giving it some growth room.

ServisFirst plans to add about 50 employees to its current headquarters before the move, for its correspondent banking division. That will bring the total number of workers at its headquarters to about 190 employees.

ServisFirst may locate its operations center in the new building, too, but that decision has not yet been made, Broughton said. ServisFirst currently outsources its operations and data center functions.

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