Bank begins $1.3M branch project


A partial rendering of the United Bank branch being developed in Jenison. Courtesy United Bank

A locally owned bank is developing a new 4,000-square-foot branch in the area.

Grand Rapids-based United Bank said it held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for the $1.3-million project at its new branch site in Jenison, at 1884 Baldwin St.

The branch is expected to be open by late summer.

Progressive AE led the project’s design and will be the contractor for the renovation of the existing building.

The project

Art Johnson, chairman and CEO of United Bank, said the bank purchased the space from an optometrist and has owned the location for a while.

“It is actually a very nice little building,” Johnson said. “We are going to shrink the building a little bit and completely re-do it. It won’t really be as big as it was, but it will still be a very spacious office.”

The bank anticipates that the branch’s scaled-down footprint will improve traffic flow around the building.

Johnson said United Bank designed the new layout from the inside out and spent quite a bit of time incorporating some of the new changes in branch design theory.

“It is a little bit of a hybrid between a typical branch you are familiar with,” Johnson said. “Our design is going to include that, but it is really going to be much more open and much more welcoming. It is going to create an atmosphere that will be able to handle those transactions you are used to handling at a traditional teller station, but it will also be much more consultative as well.”

The bank is also in the process of renovating its headquarters, at 900 E. Paris Ave. SE, for nearly $5.5 million with a similar design layout as the Jenison branch.

Jenison market

United Bank was interested in a location in Jenison to “fill in” the western side of the greater Grand Rapids area, and the community made a lot of sense in terms of similarities with other communities where the bank is located.

“We know how to do banking in a community like that,” Johnson said. “There is a large residential population that is surrounding Baldwin Street, together with the business community, which is right there. . . . It is, frankly, an ideal location for us.”

Johnson also said the bank intends to become involved with the Jenison community through business groups, community-based groups and the school system.

“We intend to be very much a part of that community,” Johnson said. “That is the way we do community banking.”

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