110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Gainesville-based credit union takes over vacant bank building in north DeLand
By Joe Crews
posted Jun 12, 2013 - 2:43:11pm
A former Regions Bank branch in front of the Walmart on North Woodland Boulevard will soon be swarming with workers giving a facelift inside and out, getting it ready for a new owner.
Gainesville-based Florida Credit Union, which opened in 1954 as Alachua County Teachers Credit Union, bought the property last month for $945,000, according to Volusia County records.
Assistant Vice President Brian Leatherman will be the branch manager of FCU's ninth office and the first one in Volusia County.
"We're super-excited about the opportunity to get to DeLand and Volusia County in general," Leatherman said in a recent interview. "We're going to be giving the building a facelift."
Leatherman didn't want to be tied down to a specific opening date, but he said it should be later this summer, after training for new hires has been conducted.
Chris Clore, FCU's senior vice president of marketing, said despite the work being "very minimal," the credit union is waiting for the appropriate permits to be issued by the city.
"As soon as we get the permits, we'll start work," she said.
FCU already has started the hiring process, and Clore said the response to its "help wanted" ads has been "incredible."
"We're going to bring people on board and train them in other branches so they'll be ready when (the DeLand branch) opens," she said.
Florida Credit Union currently has eight branch offices: three each in Gainesville and Ocala, and one each in Lake City and Starke. Membership now is open to residents of nineteen counties.
"We've been focused on Alachua and Marion counties," he said. "In March, we added five counties to (an existing) 13, and we added Volusia in the late April/early May timeframe."
Leatherman said as a member-owned, member-driven institution, Florida Credit Union provides a wide range of financial products at the lowest possible prices.
"We offer all kinds of financial services, from savings accounts to mortgages and everything in between, including life insurance and annuities," he said. "It's one-stop shopping."
Clore said Florida Credit Union has a different philosophy than many financial institutions.
"Our philosophy is that everyone deserves financial services, regardless of their credit score," she said. "We go after everybody."
The facelift of the new branch will include pressure-washing and repainting the building in its original colors, except for the possible addition of a few teal highlights to reflect FCU's corporate scheme, Leatheman said.
Regions closed its office in front of Walmart in 2011, said spokesman Mel Campbell.
"It was a part of a series of consolidations we announced in the summer of 2011," he said. "Most of the closures were completed by late that year."
Regions still has offices in Orange City, Daytona Beach, South Daytona and Port Orange.
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