The bank announced last week its intention to lease nearly 36,000 square feet of space in the historic Trust Building at 40 Pearl St. downtown.
“This is a long-term investment in Grand Rapids,” said Standard Federal Bank Group Senior Vice President Dan Terpsma.
“We’re planting our corporate flag in Grand Rapids because we believe it has a great future, and Standard Federal plans to be a part of it.”
Standard Federal’s current West Michigan headquarters is at 77 Monroe Center, in the old Michigan National Bank building.
In addition, the bank has a branch at 125 Monroe Ave. and houses its middle market lending group in the Ledyard Building, across the street from the Trust Building.
The move will bring them all together under one roof, said Terpsma. More than 120 employees will occupy the building.
The Standard Federal branch on Monroe Avenue will be demolished to make way for the new Grand Rapids Art Museum.
“We were going to move anyway, but we do like the fact that our move is really allowing for the art museum to move ahead,” Terpsma said.
Growing pains provided some motivation as well.
“We needed more space. We’re developing our lines of business more fully,” he said. “We’re growing in all those areas and we just needed the square footage to house our people.”
In addition to a full-service retail banking center on the main floor of the Trust Building, the fifth, sixth, and seventh floors will house a number of Standard Federal departments, including commercial banking, commercial real estate, business banking, private banking, investment management, personal trust, corporate and institutional trust, and treasury management.
The bank branch will occupy a portion of the main floor while the bank’s offices will occupy 100 percent of the other three floors.
Terpsma said Standard Federal also has options on additional space on floors eight and nine, as space becomes available.
“We’re planning on needing some of that space, so as leases come due, we have the option to expand into that. But we’re not kicking anyone out; we want to make that clear,” he added.
The lease has renewal clauses that extend out 20 years.
The historic significance of the Trust Building was a factor in the company’s decision to move its offices there.
The Trust Building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983.
Designed by Chicago architect Solon S. Beman, the nine-story office building was the tallest in the state when it opened 1892 as headquarters of the Michigan Trust Co., the first trust company in Michigan.
“We like the architectural nature of the building, ” Terpsma said. “The fact that it is a registered historic site, we believe, creates a nice aura of stability and strength.
“The other part that we really like is the superb location. This is right in the center of the downtown business district. It has great visibility, and it’s a great building.”
Standard Federal will be the anchor tenant, occupying about a third of the building’s square footage, said George Wanty, general partner and head of the management group for the Trust Building.
Mayor John Logie applauded Standard Federal’s decision to make the investment and anchor itself more firmly in the community.
“There’s great energy and great synergy in having a bank like Standard Federal and having it occupy one of the premier center posts in our downtown,” he said.
Standard Federal is a subsidiary of Dutch banking giant ABN AMRO North America, Inc.
ABN AMRO bought regional bank Michigan National Corp. from National Australia Bank in 2001 and merged it with Standard Federal.
As of March 31, the Troy-based nationally chartered bank had $40.4 billion in assets and $19.6 billion in deposits. Its sister bank is LaSalle Bank in Chicago.
The bank has 270 branches and 1,350 ATMs in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.
Locally, Standard Federal has 16 banking centers in metro Grand Rapids and one in Holland.
It has 60 branches throughout what it calls its western Michigan market, which includes Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, South Bend and Jackson.
Terpsma said Standard Federal plans to open four new branches in West Michigan next year.
Though the sites have not yet been identified, one or two new branches will be built in Grand Rapids and a couple on the lakeshore, he said.
“We already have a full array of products. What this really represents is expanding our local personnel to deliver those products.
“We like the idea of being a large bank with many sophisticated products and yet being able to deliver it with local people. The new branches will allow us to do that.”