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Summit Federal Credit Union to open new branch in Clay

summit fcuCLAY — The Summit Federal Credit Union plans to open a new branch at 5201 West Taft Road in Clay. The location will replace Summit’s existing branch in Clay plus one office in Cicero.

The Taft Road site is one of the branches that First Niagara Bank vacated last year as part of its merger with KeyBank.

Summit’s existing Clay branch currently operates at 4336 Wetzel Road and the Cicero office is situated at 6091 State Route 31.

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The new branch opening, as well as the closing of the Cicero and current Clay branches, are “anticipated to occur within the next six months,” Rochester–based Summit said in a news release.

The Wetzel Road and Cicero branches were part of Summit’s merger with Syracuse Federal Credit Union, says David Harnish, Summit’s VP of information technology. Both credit unions started operating under the Summit name in April 2010.

“We’ve actually been looking for a while to try to do something a little different with those two branches in that area,” Harnish adds. He spoke with CNYBJ on April 20.

Offering more services
Summit was “having some difficulty” providing the types of services that its members wanted in those areas.

For example, neither of the current branches could accommodate a drive-up ATM, says Harnish. He says Summit was watching what would happen in the merger of Cleveland, Ohio–based KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) and Buffalo–based First Niagara Financial Group (NASDAQ: FNFG). He noted that both banking companies had branches in similar areas in “many markets.”

“We were watching to see which ones would become available … This one just made really great sense for us to do now,” says Harnish.

Hafner Realty LLC is listed as the property’s owner at 5201 West Taft Road, according to Onondaga County’s online property records.

“We are leasing it. It wasn’t for sale,” says Harnish.

Summit worked with Scott Burdett, VP of marketing and brokerage services at Flaum Management Company, Inc. in pursuing the property.

The building on Taft Road is in “great shape,” says Harnish, and Summit is still in the process of mapping out its plans for any interior and exterior improvements involving new technology and signage.

Plans
Summit expects to operate multiple drive-up lanes, including a 24-hour ATM lane and additional tube-service transaction lanes …

“Those [are] already in existence there,” says Harnish

The branch’s interior has private space for meetings and consultations with members.

Summit also plans to implement “some newer technology that we’ve been incorporating into some of our newer branches,” he adds. That includes tablets for members to review Summit’s products and services, tutorials on how to use mobile and online technologies, and digital signage. Summit also expects to offer wi-fi Internet service for its members, according to Harnish.

“Our branches need to be compatible with the way members access financial services today and have the flexibility to accommodate the future,” Mike Vadala, president and CEO of Summit Federal Credit Union, said in the release.

Summit owns both properties on which its existing branches sit and will be looking to sell them soon.

“We intend on working with our broker to put those on the market in the near future,” says Harnish.

The building at 4336 Wetzel Road in Clay is about 2,400 square feet and sits on half an acre of land. The property’s full market value is listed at just over $276,000, per the county’s online property records.

The building at 6091 Route 31 in Cicero is more than 3,500 square feet and sits on just over an acre. The property’s full market value is listed at $480,000.

The employees who work at the existing Cicero branch and Clay office will remain with Summit, the credit union said in its release.

When asked how much it will cost Summit to open the new branch, Harnish says the final figure is “still in the works” and will depend on how the credit union addresses improvements to the building.

Harnish also indicates that the credit union isn’t “saving a lot of money” by closing two branches in favor of a single branch for the Clay and Cicero area.

Summit Federal Credit Union has more than 80,000 members and over $825 million in assets, according to its website. It employs more than 230 employees and currently has nice branches in the Rochester area, one in Seneca Falls, four offices in the Syracuse region, two in the Cortland area, and two in the Buffalo region.

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