By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — Honor Credit Union is looking to make a change at its St. Joseph branch.
HCU spokeswoman Kaylee Williams said the current St. Joseph building at 2920 Lakeview Ave. needed an expanded drive-thru and to be more accessible. As a result, the credit union completed its purchase Jan. 8 for the former Mazda dealership at 2712 Niles Ave.
With an operations center opening in Berrien Springs by the end of the first quarter of 2016, the credit union began looking at the Niles Avenue parcel between Botham and Columbia avenues.
“Honor Credit Union has been committed to the St. Joseph community for decades, and the opportunity that presented itself on Niles Avenue was a perfect fit to strengthen this long-standing community relationship,” stated Honor’s CEO Scott McFarland in an email. “We are excited to be able to provide our St. Joseph members increased accessibility and convenience with this move.”
With new property in hand, Williams said HCU officials are in the process of researching and designing the new branch to improve on the existing one.
The existing branch building on Lakeview Avenue will remain open until the Niles Avenue location is completed. Williams said options are being looked at for what to do with the Lakeview Avenue location once the office and equipment is moved.
Williams said they will release more information, including an estimated timeline and drafts of the branch design as it is available.
“It will be more accessible and more convenient for members,” Williams said. “It’s been a long discussed topic how to make the Lakeview drive-thru function more efficiently. This purchase tackles that issue. While work was being done on the new operations center (in Berrien Springs), options were being evaluated for St. Joseph members. When the solution came about, it made good sense.”
The decision comes a year after Honor’s plans for a new operations center were announced.
In Berrien County, HCU has six locations, including Benton Harbor, Berrien Springs, Coloma, Niles, St. Joseph and Stevensville. Honor serves more than 57,000 members across Michigan.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 13, 2016)