Oklahoma Community Spotlights


FHLBank Topeka's mission is to partner with our members to make a difference in communities throughout Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Here are some examples of our partnerships in action.


Norman, Oklahoma

CDP Advances

The key to making any deal successful is to make the terms favorable to both sides. With help from discounted advance funds from FHLBank Topeka, Great Nations Bank was able to sweeten the deal for their customer while keeping the terms comfortable for their own balance sheet.

With locations in the Oklahoma City suburbs of Norman and Yukon, Great Nations Bank is a community bank with assets of $83 million. Keeping their cost of funds at a manageable level can be a challenge for this small bank. The Community Development Program (CDP) and Community Housing Program (CHP) helped them address that challenge head on.

The CDP provides advances priced below FHLBank’s regular rates to help members finance qualifying commercial loans, farm loans and community and economic development initiatives in the areas they serve. The CHP offers similarly priced funding to finance owner-occupied and rental housing in members’ communities. Great Nations used both programs in 2020. Their CDP advance helped finance the purchase of a 100-yearold office building in the heart of Ardmore.

“The new owner is a local businesswoman who already owned the building next door,” said Lynn Groves, SVP, commercial lender. “Helping her purchase this building meant the property’s ownership stayed local.”

With the flexibility in terms of up to 30 years with the CDP advance, Great Nations was able to lock in a longer fixed rate for their borrower.

“The CDP helped make our offer competitive and still preserved our margin,” Lynn explained.

Great Nations also used a CHP advance to help a local investor purchase an apartment complex in downtown Oklahoma City. The eightplex complex is in an up-and-coming area of the city and has stayed fully rented. The new owner will keep needed downtown housing available to the community. When future deals are in the works, Great Nations Bank plans to keep their CDP and CHP application close at hand. Finding an option that provides value to their bank and their customer means more successful loan closings are on the horizon.



Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Homeownership Set-aside Program

Residential mortgages are a tradition at Great Plains Bank in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In 2010, they established a secondary market mortgage division to provide customers with a wider range of real estate loan options. But it wasn’t until 2016 that Great Plains learned about a new game changer for customers.

“We are proud to say that since 2016 we have had the pleasure of helping 113 first-time homebuyers through FHLBank’s Homeownership Set-aside Program,” said Doug Park, National Sales Manager for Great Plains Bank.


FHLBank Topeka’s Homeownership Set-aside Program (HSP) provides up to $5,000 in closing cost, down payment and repair assistance for first-time homebuyers earning at or below 80% of the Area Median Income. The use of HSP has generated new business for Great Plains, Doug said, because previous customers refer friends and family. The bank even has Realtor referral sources asking each spring when HSP will be available.

Not only does the program benefit customers and the community, it has unique benefits for Great Plains as well. “In addition to the $5,000 grant,” Doug said, “I think the advantage is it allows Great Plains Bank to use its own loan programs and interest rates for the first mortgage instead of a rate offered by other down payment assistance providers.” Using their own loan programs and rates helps Great Plains pass even more savings on to customers. For instance, they have had numerous buyers with excess seller concessions, which they can use to buy down the interest rate, giving buyers an even lower mortgage payment than initially quoted.

“It’s a great program,” Doug said. “For our communities and Great Plains Bank.”



Hart of Gold

Community Development Program  |  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


In 1945 when the Hart Building was constructed, its neighborhood, Film Row, was home to offices for major Hollywood film studios like Paramount Pictures and MGM. It was one of 37 film districts across the country that helped get the word out to theatre owners about new films by hosting showings of the latest movies. By the 1960s, new technology and transportation options led to the demise of these film exchange areas.

“In the early 1980s, the Film Row neighborhood was blighted,” explained Chip Fudge, the developer of the Hart Building. “There were no street lights and many buildings were boarded up. We bought our first property in that area in 1994 seeing the potential.” The OKC Film Row has experienced a resurgence in recent years and is one of the last ones standing in the U.S. with nearly every building still intact. Much of this is due to the vision of Fudge’s company, Film Exchange Row, LLC.

Chip’s financial partner along the way has been NBC Oklahoma. “They agreed to finance some of my initial project and have been there for my commercial, real estate and family business ever since,” Chip said. “I won’t bank with anyone but a local banker and really appreciate my relationship with NBC Oklahoma.”

Even with their strong relationship with Chip, NBC needed to be competitive on rate to secure the Hart Building project. “We knew that with the size of this project, a ½% could make a big difference,” said Toni Nance, vice president of NBC Oklahoma. They had heard about Community Development Program advances from FHLBank Topeka and decided to find out if Chip’s project would qualify.“Although I know we could have kept our relationship with Chip, we couldn’t have secured this particular project had it not been for FHLBank. The CDP was the perfect fit,” said Toni. 

Thanks to the affordable funding, Chip completely refurbished the inside of the building while keeping the art deco charm outside. The Hart Building is home to his company as well as a small cafĂ© and KOSU, the National Public Radio station for Oklahoma State University. Chip’s projects have led the way in the Film Row neighborhood spurring economic growth and bringing some of that movie magic back to Oklahoma City.



Commons on Classen

Affordable Housing Program Grant  |  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


“People want to be there.” That’s the explanation Roland Chupik, executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services in Oklahoma City, gives for why Commons on Classen is completely occupied. The project opened its doors July 1, 2017, and was completely occupied by November. 


Downtown Oklahoma City hadn’t seen a new affordable housing development in decades. Commons on Classen gives seniors access to midtown stores and restaurants within walking distance. In the not-so-distant future, it will be only half a block away from the new trolley system.

A convenient location isn’t the only thing Commons on Classen has going for it. The Urban Land Institute of Oklahoma named the project a finalist in its Annual Impact Awards in the small-scale development category. The awards honor projects that represent the best practices in land use and development.

Another aspect of Commons on Classen that Roland is proud of is its diversity. “Our residents represent a wide range of ethnicities, marital statuses and backgrounds. It’s a cool community and one I like to stop by and hang out in,” he said.


To make Commons on Classen a reality, NHS worked with BOK Financial, to apply for an Affordable Housing Program grant. They were awarded a $750,000 AHP grant in 2014. “BOK Financial is very proud to have sponsored the AHP grant which assisted in making Commons on Classen possible,” said Lisa Albers, SVP. “It is very satisfying and rewarding when many parties come together to provide much needed affordable senior housing.” 



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Topeka, KS 66606





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