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October 16, 2013

First Alliance to open new Roch. branch on 55th Street

First Alliance Credit Union hopes to open a new Rochester branch at 3900 55th St. N.W. in early 2014.

The Rochester credit union is leasing the 700-square-foot space aNew1stalliancebranch10162013nd plans to have three employees based there. It shares the building with the local Veteran's Affairs clinic. 

This will be First Alliance's fourth Rochester branch, including a small one-person office in the Kemps' facility on North Broadway. First Alliance also has a branch in Byron.

"This is a great opportunity to get our footprint in the market on 55th Street," said Mark Hettinger, First Alliance's chief operations officer. "A sizable percentage of our members live in the northwest area."

First Alliance is moving into a space last leased by Home Federal Savings Bank, which moved out last spring. Home Federal originally built the 9,800-square-foot facility in 2002. The Rochester bank sold the building to Les Nelson, of Clear Lake, Iowa, in 2009 for more than $2 million.

With the rise in online banking and direct deposit, today's customers don't go to branches to deposit paychecks or make withdrawals like previous generations did. However, customers do still like to deal with a person for some transactions, particularly for things like loans and mortgages.

"Branches are smaller now and really need to be strategically positioned," he said. The branch manager for the new branch also will be a loan officer.

That's why First Alliance is opening this branch on 55th Street, while it also owns land on 41st Street Northwest. Hettinger plans to watch the 55th Street location to help First Alliance gauge how to best use the 41st Street property.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, the credit union also is building a new full-service ATM site just off of 48th Street Southeast in Rochester's Shoppes on Maine development. It's being built near the big monument sign at the entrance to the commercial area.

Grading and ground work has begun there and Hettinger hopes to have the ATM site up and running by the end of November.

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Why are there so many banks and credit unions in Rochester?

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