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Solvay Bank expands HQ to facilitate growth

SOLVAY — Recent growth has sparked an expansion of Solvay Bank’s headquarters at 1537 Milton Ave.

The bank is constructing a two-story, 17,000-square-foot addition to its building in the village. Work began earlier in June and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.

“We’ve continued to grow through the recession,” Solvay Bank President and CEO Paul Mello says. “Right now, we’re kind of on top of each other in the building. We have literally no room.”


Bank leaders looked at the downturn as an opportunity to continue to look for new customers and provide credit to borrowers, Mello says. The bank’s work force has grown about 10 percent in the last four years and now totals 160 people.

Most of the new hires came in lending and credit, along with some risk-management personnel, Mello says. Solvay Bank also opened a branch in Cicero in 2010 and added employees as a result.

All the new hires and lack of space in the current headquarters means staff members in some departments are spread across some other sites. The addition will allow departments to consolidate into the same space and let employees work together more effectively, Mello contends.

Solvay Bank’s processing department, loan administration, finance, and operations employees will all move into the new structure once it’s finished.

The expansion also includes a basement, which will house storage space and a new cafeteria.

Parsons-McKenna Construction Co., Inc., based in Salina, is the main contractor for the project. All contractors and subcontractors on the project are from Central New York, Mello notes.

Schopfer Architects of Syracuse designed the addition. Mello declined to disclose the cost of the project.

He says the bank is aiming to make the new structure as energy efficient as possible. The expansion may look to use LED lighting. Mello says existing space might be retrofitted with the lights as well.

The addition will use energy-efficient windows, doors, and insulation and bank leaders are looking into energy-saving heating and cooling systems.

Solvay Bank may also set aside some space in the addition for community use.

“We’re just conceptualizing what that might look like,” Mello says.

The expansion will have enough room for continued growth, he adds. The bank should be in good shape with space for the next
10 years or so once the addition is finished.

Solvay Bank has eight branch offices in Solvay, Fairmount, Camillus, Liverpool, North Syracuse, Cicero, downtown Syracuse, and Westvale. It ranks seventh in deposit market share in the Syracuse metro area with nearly $543 million in deposits, or 5.16 percent of the market’s total deposits, according to June 30, 2011, FDIC statistics, the latest available. Solvay Bank also owns an insurance agency and has more than $646 million in total assets. 



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