Tompkins Weekly Staff
CFCU Community Credit Union is moving its headquarters – to downtown Ithaca’s Commons.
In the announcement that came late last week, CFCU and Ithaca Renting Company have agreed to terms for the original home of First National Bank of Ithaca, located on the Commons.
“We wanted to keep the ‘Bank’ in ‘Bank Alley,’”said building owner Jason Fane, in a prepared statement. “The Bank Tower is the heart of the Commons. With CFCU anchoring the corner, that heart will beat strongly for years to come.”
“Relocating our headquarters and opening a branch on the Commons is a statement of continuing local commitment to our members and the Ithaca community,” added Lisa Whitaker, CFCU president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. “While other institutions have left the downtown Commons, we believe it is the right place to be. Since the Commons re-opening, CFCU has witnessed the power of this central location as a gathering point and cultural hub.”
Pending approval from the Department of Financial Services, CFCU will occupy all of the first floor, including space at 111 N. Tioga, the Bank Tower second floor, and the Seneca Street parking lot and drive through ATM. Approximately 40 employees will be working downtown.
“The space will be renovated to bring out the building’s original character, while at the same time create a modern banking operation. During negotiations we learned a lot about the original building; soon the community will also be able to re-discover this heritage,” said Nathan Lyman, Ithaca Renting’s chief operations officer, in a prepared statement. “With an outstanding tenant like CFCU in the building, Ithaca Renting will be renovating the upper floors as office space. Discussions are underway with a number of prospective tenants, and we expect the space will lease out quickly with our new investment.”
“The branch space will feature an exciting new design and direction, just like the recent renovations brought to the Commons. A downtown location and drive-up ATM access have been requested by members, and this location will meet their needs for decades. We are utilizing local architects and builders, to maximize the positive impacts to our community,” added Whitaker. “We are thrilled to have such strong support from our volunteer Board of Directors, as well as our employees. Detailed consideration goes into every decision to maximize the positive impacts to our community. So, to have support both from the CFCU and community perspectives is inspiring.”
Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance said the building “is at the focal center of both the Commons and Downtown.”
“They are making a large investment locating products, services, and jobs here in the heart of our community,” he said.