A Wisconsin credit union with plans to build a second Rochester branch recently bought a parcel of land for $1.25 million.
Altra Federal Credit Union bought land on Dec. 14 in the Chateau Circle commercial development at 55th Street Northwest and Chateau Road. That means the new branch will be located near the Walgreens drug store planned for that area.
"We've been looking for a new spot to build a new full-service branch for quite a while," said Cheryl Dutton, vice president of marketing of the La Crosse, Wis.-based credit union. "The Rochester market is a very important market to us."
While the land is acquired, Dutton said the project still is in the initial stages, so there's no timeline yet.
Altra opened its first Rochester branch in 2012 at 123 16th Ave. SW in the Shoppes on Second development. It now has five on staff.
"The growth has been exceptional. However, it's a very small office in a very busy strip mall. To service our members better, we'd like to build a larger branch, usually 4,000 to 5,000 square feet," she said.
The credit union is aware residents in the Chateau Circle area have voiced some concerns about the commercial development in their neighborhood.
"We plan to be very good neighbors," said Dutton. "We think it's going to be a great area for us."
Altra began in 1931 as the Trane Employees Credit Union with a history similar to that of the IBM Mid-America Credit Union, which became Think Federal Credit Union. It has Minnesota branches in La Crescent and Winona. Overall, it has 17 locations in eight states.