Consolidated Community Credit Union’s flagship branch at 2021 N.E. Sandy Blvd. in the Kerns neighborhood re-opened in August, after completing a major renovation designed to serve a younger, tech-savvy demographic.
“We are so excited to re-open this branch,” said Larry Ellifritz, the credit union’s president and CEO. “As a community-based credit union we want to continue to be a fixture in the Kerns neighborhood. We have been in this neighborhood, in one location or another, for over 60 years – so this area is home for us.”
The Kerns branch is recognized as a landmark for the building’s unique roof structure and its triangular shape. Scott Edwards Architecture led the design on the project.
“We wanted to keep the unique roof not only for its recognizable, landmark quality but also because it functionally enabled us to do some unique things with the new design,” said Brian Mares, Scott Edwards Architecture principal.
The objective of the remodel was to modernize the space and open up traffic flow. Because the structure of the roof requires no columns, it allowed for plenty of open space, as well as a skylight on top of the building and large windows to let in natural light. The core of the new branch will be a technology center featuring iPads, iPhones and Android devices – as well as large format touch screen televisions.
“The building was built in 1964 by Security Bank and we purchased it from Bank of America in the mid 1980s. So, the building has been a home for a financial institution for the past 50 years,” Ellifritz said. “Prior to being a financial institution, the site was a Standard gas station – and going back even further the building was actually in the shape of a shoe and served as a cobbler and a restaurant.”
“We invested nearly $2 million renovating this site because we believe in this neighborhood and we are very excited to be part of its revitalization,” said Ellifritz. “We love the vibe of this neighborhood, it is very Portland, lots of good, down-to-earth people. Our objective is that the building will be a source of community pride, and we want to welcome the local residents and be a financial resource for them.”
“This is definitely not a typical financial institution. There are no red ropes cutting off traffic flow,” said Ellifritz. “Being a credit union we have many of the same services as a bank, but our focus is helping our members and our community, not making profits for stockholders. So, in many ways we identity with this building … it’s a little funky and we don’t think like or act like traditional bankers … we think it is a good fit for us and the neighborhood.”
The Sandy location is the second of the credit union’s branches to open or be remodeled in the past nine months. The Lloyd district branch opened in October 2014. For more information on Consolidated Community Credit Union, visit www.consolidatedccu.com.