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168 posts categorized "Bank/credit union news"

December 16, 2014

Mannino leaving Home Federal

After 14 years as the face of Rochester's Home Federal Savings Bank, Al Mannino is leaving to try something new.

Mannino, the well-known vice president of communications for the bank, is stepping down at the end of December to try his hand at business consulting.
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"I've decided to leave the bank while I've still got enough energy to do something else," he said. "The bank and I are on great terms. I'm just looking for something more fun and challenging for the next segment of my career."

The 65-year-old Mannino joined Home Federal in 2000. He originally moved to the area to help with the launch of Stewartville-based Rochester Medical, which makes catheters. Prior to that, he had been working with a medical company in the Twin Cities.

"I was an executive in the health-care industry for many years with companies that made implantable medical devices and medical supplies," said Mannino. "Now it's time to try something new."

August 12, 2014

Bank breaks ground for new northwest Rochester branch

Green Bay, Wis.-based Associated Bank broke will break ground on Wednesday for its new 3,000-square-foot branch in northwest Rochester.

10581397_745970035444536_1595413071_nThe new building will replace the branch in the Hy-Vee North grocery on 37th Street Northwest, which closed on July 24. Associated's new site will be located at 1985 Commerce Drive N.W., which is in the Costco's commercial development at 19th Street and West Circle Drive. It will be near the 19th Street entrance to Costco.Associated Bank first filed plans for the branch in February.

EDITOR'S NOTE - Thanks once again to Josh Banks Photography for the pic.

If construction goes as planned, look for the new Associated branch to open in January. The Wisconsin bank has three other branches in Rochester.

The addition of this new branch re-confirms the growing commercial interest in that part of Rochester. Iowa-based West Bank is planning to build its own facility along West Circle Drive in 2015. Two Rochester-based banks, Home Federal Saving Bank and Think Mutual Bank, also have large branches in that area.

Associated's announcement about the new location stated that it will offer "an enhanced banking experience in a revitalized and spacious layout." That will include a full lobby with tellers, a drive-through window and staff to handle mortgages and investment services.

Associated Bank entered the Rochester area in 2004, when it acquired First Federal Capital Bank. First Federal was short-lived here. It picked up the holdings of the long-time Marquette Bank in 2002.

“We take pride in the relationships we have built in this community and we are thrilled to continue these relationships at our new location,” stated Tim Lau, Associated's head of community markets and executive vice president.

Re-locating the northwest branch is not the only Rochester move coming up for the bank.

New owners have acquired Associated Bank's downtown building at 206 South Broadway and the bank needs to move out by spring 2015. Executive Vice President David Stein previously stated that Associated is looking for "opportunities for a new downtown bank location."

Associated has more than 200 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois.

July 24, 2014

Bremer Bank to acquire Eastwood Bank

St. Paul-based bank Bremer Bank announced Thursday that it's expanding into southeastern Minnesota by acquiring Rochester's Eastwood Bank.

Photo_branch_318This move quickly ramps up Bremer's presence in this area by adding Eastwood's 13 locations. Bremer has 85 branches in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. The nearest branch is in Owatonna, which opened in 2012. It recently broke ground to build a new bank in Eau Claire, Wis.

"This partnership is part of Bremer's overall expansion strategy of entering new markets, making acquisitions and recruiting top talent. We have been working on our expansion initiatives since 2011," said Greg Hilding, Bremer's midwest group president.

The deal is expected to close on Jan. 23, pending regulator approval. Eastwood and Bremer officials declined to discuss the financial terms of the purchase. Once it's approved, all of Eastwood's branches will change over to the Bremer name.

Brad Peters, Bremer's Southeast Minnesota region CEO, will take over the Eastwood Bank operations with Eastwood's current president Paul Tieskoetter reporting directly to Peters.

Acquiring Eastwood extends Bremer's coverage in Minnesota as well as strengthening its position as one of this region's largest financial institutions. Dave Talen, the president of Eastwood bank's holding company, described the deal as being about growth for Bremer.

"It's a great strategic fit and a great geographic fit, really with no overlap," added Hilding.

That lack of overlap with any of Bremer's locations appears to be positive for the future of Eastwood's more than 185 employees. During the next six months, Bremer will study Eastwood to determine if any adjustments are needed. However, dramatic changes don't seem likely.

"We have every intention to continue forward with these locations that Eastwood Bank has built," Hilding said while traveling to Eastwood's branches with Dave Talen to meet the staff. "It's a privalige to take over such a strong legacy. It's an opportunity and a responsibility we intend to uphold."

As of March 2014, Bremer listed assets of $8.8 billion, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Rochester's Think Mutual Bank had assets of $1.5 billion, Winona's Merchants Bank had $1.39 billion.

Eastwood's roots extend back to 1903 to founding of the First State Bank of Dover. That bank was later acquired by Farmers State Bank in Eyota. In 1979, Farmers State opened a Rochester branch and called it Eastwood. First State, Farmers State and Eastwood were all combined under the name of Eastwood in 1982.

Considering the family's 75 year history with the bank and the community, the Talens say deciding to sell was took a lot of consideration.

"We have carefully considered what is best for our shareholders, customers, communities and employees," stated Eastwood Bank Chair James Talen. "And we believe the decision to become part of the Bremer organization is the right choice for meeting the best interests of all of these groups."

Dave Talen, James' son, echoed that sentiment. "We wanted someone who would carry on what we've built. Bremer is a good cultural fit with Eastwood," he said.

Both James and Dave Talen will remain with the organization through 2015 "to assist with the transition," according to Bremer Bank.

May 07, 2014

Think changes direction on future of Greenview Drive sites

Think Mutual Bank is changing its thinking about the future of its presence on Rochester's Greenview Drive.

The Rochester bank had previously planned to sell its 21,000-square-foot branch at 1698 Greenview Drive S.W., and then build a replacement  at 1509 Greenview Drive S.W., near the Ramada hotel. The now-empty lot was previously home to a BP Pump N Munch convenience store, which closed in 2009. Think bought the site for $785,895 that same year and demolished the shuttered C-store.
Thinksexpumpmunchsite
At that time, the bank executives believed the 1698 Greenview branch was too large and inefficient.

However, Think's leaders have changed their minds about that. It has been decided to now sell the empty lot by the hotel and keep the current Greenview branch. While there has been serious interest in buying the branch building, others have also shown interest in buying the open lot.

Jenny Hosfeld, senior vice president of community banking, explained the change in strategy.

"We looked at our current facilities and decided to take the opportunity to make improvements to our current branch to make it better for our customers and our staff," she said. "It's a great location with great visibility, so why move when we can make it better?"

About 12 Think employees work at that location.

Think is putting a team of employees together to work on the plan to upgrade the Greenview building. Hosfeld said any construction work will be a 2015 project. She added that it's possible that the bank may incorporate some of the design of its most recently built branch at Shoppes on Maine in Rochester in the future look of the Greenview site.

Thinkgreenview"We're really proud of that design," Hosfeld said.

She declined to comment on whether the bank is currently in negotiations with any potential buyers of the empty Greenview plot, though all of the marketing signs on the site have been removed.

EDITORIAL COMMENT - The real estate rumor mill says that a prominient Rochester developer has designs on the site, but that's unconfirmed at this point.

While Think isn't planning on any construction in Rochester in the near future, it did just break ground on a new branch project in Edina on Monday.

"for a community bank of our size, our branches are still big part of how we do business," Hosfeld said.

April 10, 2014

Associated Bank working on new spots for Rochester branches

Associated Bank is planning to close its branch in the Hy-Vee North grocery  and then re-open it in a future northwest Rochester location.

Associateddrawing1The Green Bay, Wis. bank announced this week that it will close the grocery store branch at 500 37th St. N.W. at the end of July. Hy-Vee customers will then be served by Associated Bank's Rochester locations on South Broadway, First Avenue Southwest and 16th Street Southwest.

The five branch employees based at the Hy-Vee branch will work at Associated's three other Rochester branches until a new northwest facility "in the West Circle Drive corridor" is completed.

While bank officials wouldn't confirm the location of the to-be-constructed bank yet, Associated has submitted very early plans to the city to build a 3,683-square-foot branch in the 19th Street/West Circle Drive commercial development anchored by Costco.

Re-locating the northwest branch is not the only Rochester move coming up for the bank.

New owners have acquired Associated Bank's downtown building at 206 South Broadway and the bank needs to move out by spring 2015. There was speculation when the site development permit was filed for the West Circle Drive branch that it might serve as the new home for the downtown branch.

Not so, says the bank's spokesman. It's actively looking for a new location that will allow it to maintain its presence downtown.

“We are finalizing plans for an exciting new Associated Bank location in the West Circle Drive Corridor and continue to review opportunities for a new downtown bank location," stated Executive Vice President David Stein in this week's announcement.

Stein also commented that, "The greater Rochester area represents an important market for Associated Bank, and we are committed to serving our customers there with expanded operations and services."

Associated Bank entered the Rochester area in 2004, when it acquired First Federal Capital Bank. First Federal was short-lived here. It picked up the holdings of the long-time Marquette Bank in 2002.

January 16, 2014

Downtown parking lot sells for $2.8M

Developers continue to jockey for position in downtown Rochester, with the latest move being Titan Development's $2.8 million purchUSbanklotase of a large parking lot.

Rochester's Titan, the organization spearheaded by Andy and Gus Chafoulias, bought the 1.4-acre lot at 402 First Ave. S.W. from U.S. Bank on Dec. 31. It's a large piece of open land next to US Bank's downtown branch.

"It's an important piece of real estate as it relates to the urban village development in that area, but we don't really have a plan for it at the moment," said John Beltz, Titan's vice president of brand management and development.

WordsplayerstheaterThis buy enhances Titan's position in that part of downtown. The local firm also bought the Words Players youth theater building, just around the corner at 12 Fourth St. S.W. Beltz described it as "a forward thinking investment," when it happened at last summer. The 63-year-old building cost $400,000.

"There's no question that it (the U.S. Bank lot combined with the Words Players building) assembles a very important piece of downtown that we want to do something constructive with and something complimentary to the downtown master plan as we go forward," said Beltz. "But what that looks like, we just don't know yet."

U.S. Bank's branch at 401 First Ave. S.W. sits at the center of that "very important piece of downtown." And the bank plans to remain there.

"The branch will continue to operate with parking and drive-through banking access," said Pat Swanson, U.S. Bank's spokesman in response to emailed questions.

In fact, U.S. Bank even has permit applications in the pipeline to renovate the 37-year old brick building. The branch has 15 employees based there.

Does being surrounded by possible future development cause U.S. Bank any concern about the future of its branch?

"We’re pleased to see growth and development in Rochester," responded Swanson by email.

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.

October 10, 2013

Associated Bank pays out $13 million, locally moves mortgage office

Here's a couple news tidbits about Associated Bank this week. One's a national deal and the other's about the downtown Rochester Associated branch:

As part of a $13 million lawsuit settlement, affected Associated Bank customers received automatic payments deposited into their accounts on Wednesday.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I received a settlement payment of $7.64 from Associated on Wednesday.

Qualified recipients, who are no longer Associated Bank customers, will receive a check by mail.

Customers did not need to file a claim to receive a payment. The payments were assigned automatically to customers who were improperly charged overdraft fees from 2004 and 2012.

While admitting no liability, the Wisconsin-based bank agreed to pay $13 million  to settle a class action lawsuit that accuses the bank of manipulating checking-account overdraft fees.

Green Bay, Wis.,-based Associated has 270 offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, including five branches in Rochester.

Closer to home, Associated Bank moved its mortgage personnel this week from the the second floor of its downtown branch to the main level. I believe that leaves that level empty or almost empty. That's interesting given the recent sale of that building.

associatedmortgageofficeBloom International Realty recently paid $7.7 million to three ownership groups for their portions of the Associated Bank Building at 206 S. Broadway.

On Sept. 16, Bloom paid $4 million to Associated Bank, which owned three floors. Local real estate investors Dave Bahr and Dr. Fred Carlson received $2.7 million for the three floors they owned. R & A Partnership, a group that includes some principals of the Dunlap & Seeger law firm, were paid $1 million for the fifth floor. The firm has offices on that floor as well as some on the fourth floor.

The tenants, which include the bank, the Dunlap & Seeger law firm, Exhibitor Magazine Group, Mayo Clinic, Cardon Outreach, the O'Brien & Wolf law firm, Minnesota Public Radio and others, were told they need to vacate the building at least by 2015.

September 25, 2013

Bank building sells in downtown Rochester

Here's some from an article I have in today's edition about yet another major downtown Rochester real estate deal.

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The rush for developers to stake out a claim in downtown Rochester continues this month, as the seven-story Associated Bank building was sold on Sept. 16 after months of speculation.

As of Oct. 1, all tenants of the building at 206 S. Broadway are to make out rent payments to Bloom International Realty, according to a letter from Oxford Property Management. Oxford, which is based in Rochester, will manage the building for the new owners.

52430f56ccab8.imageA series of major development projects have been launched since Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center initiative to invest in Rochester's infrastructure, Mayo Clinic and the surrounding business community was launched earlier this year.

"We're not surprised. DMC represents an exciting new chapter for Rochester, which the marketplace is reacting to," said Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce President John Wade.

The tenants, which include the bank, the Dunlap & Seeger law firm, the O'Brien & Wolf law firm, Minnesota Public Radio and others, were told they need to vacate the building in 2015. Many tenants said off the record that they've heard the new owners will demolish the building to make make way for a new development, possibly a high-end hotel.

Mark Dixon, of Oxford Property Management, exchanged phone messages with the Post-Bulletin on Tuesday but could not connect for an interview. Dixon was meeting with a visiting international group, presumably the new owners of the Associated building.

Bloom is a foreign company that incorporated in Minnesota last week, according to state records. Some Rochester business leaders have said off the record that the new owners are Bloom Properties LLC, which is based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. If the Abu Dhabi firm is the new owner, it would raise the recent real estate activity to a new level. Bloom signed a deal with another firm this week to build a $4.5 billion residential project in Baghdad to house 150,000 people.

"The new owners have not only made an investment in downtown but want to be partners with our community going forward," said Wade, who has met with the new owners.

While he did not identify them, Wade said this is the first local investment by this group. However, they have had "a long relationship" with the city and are very familiar with Rochester.

March 01, 2013

Former Med City bank exec is bringing new loan office here, recruits Roch. bankers

8387813An Iowa bank - West Bank - will soon deposit a loan office in the Med City and it is tapping some local bankers to run it.
Nelson, dave - west bankWhile this will be the $1.4 billion community bank's first foray into the Rochester market, it's CEO is very familiar with the terrain. CEO Dave Nelson is certainly no stranger to the Med City.  Before taking the reins of West Bank in 2010, he was the president of Wells-Fargo Rochester.
Now after two years in Des Moines, Iowa, he is looking at Rochester to expand West Bank. And he is recruiting key executives from his old bank to manage this new project.

"It’s a great win/win for all of us. … We are committed to pursuing grMike Zinser photoowth opportunities where we can find the talent and strategic fit," he says. "In this case, we’ve been able to recruit long time Rochester banker Mike Zinser as our new Market President.”

The plan is to open a loan production office in Suite 100 of 3147 Superior Drive N.W. on March 18. It will be focused on business banking, though it will also offer treasure management services and home mortgages.
Mike Schletty photo
Zinser was previously a Regional Business Banking Manager for Wells Fargo’s Business Banking division in Rochester. 

The other two bankers - Mike Schletty and Michele Sursely - hired to run the new West Bank office are also former Wells-Fargo employees.

Schletty, most recently a senior business banker for Wells-Fargo, will serve as vice president of West Bank's Rochester time.Michele Sursely photo  Rounding out the team is Sursely, a 32-year Wells Fargo veteran.

“You can’t launch a new initiative like this without a hometown team.  Mike, Mike and Michele have made Rochester their home for years, and they know the community’s needs,” Nelson says.

The loan office may be just the beginning. West Bank sees a lot of potential in Rochester for its business-focus community bank.

"We see this as a temporary phase…a way to get started," he says, "In the future, we do envision building a more traditional bank branch in Rochester."