By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal

TUPELO • The buildings on the historic Leake and Goodlett property downtown in Tupelo are being demolished, making way for what will eventually be an office for BNA Bank.

The New Albany-based bank purchased the Main Street property earlier this year for an undisclosed sum, but it has no immediate plans for it.

BNA, which was established in 1896, has total assets of $524 million, and is the 24th-largest bank in the state with nearly $450 million in deposits.

The bank opened its first branch outside of Union County in 2007, with an office on McCullough Boulevard in Belden.

In 2014, it opened an office on Tom Watson Drive.

BNA Bank also has one office in Myrtle and its headquarters and two additional offices in New Albany.

Leake and Goodlett closed earlier this year after 115 years of operation. It was one of Tupelo and Lee Couny’s oldest businesses.

Tupelo natives and childhood friends Memory Ernest Leake and Robert Frank Goodlett founded the business in 1904, buying an existing sawmill.

Through the 1930s, it primarily was a retail and wholesale lumber business.

Leake and Goodlett’s lumber yard – which helped rebuild Tupelo after the 1936 tornado and also had a hand in supplying, building and developing neighborhoods like Oak Ridge, Highland Circle, Belledeer, Lee Acres, Hillshire and others – had long been shuttered before its closing this year. A brief boom in the 2000s revived the lumber business, but it didn’t last long as the company sought another niche.