Cooperative Center Opening Second Location in Historic Downtown Martinez
Berkeley, CA: Cooperative Center FCU today announced the purchase of the former Union Bank building located at 634 Ferry St., Martinez, CA 94553. This new location will serve as the credit union’s Loan Center and Headquarters.
“This is an exciting day for our City because are we getting a new tenant with 20 full-time employees taking over a vacant building, which will add to the vibrancy of downtown and provide an economic boost to our businesses,” said Mayor Rob Schroder. “We are also welcoming a community and civic-minded organization with a rich tradition of providing socially responsible banking services to individuals who may not be able to otherwise receive loans at reasonable terms from larger banks.”
In addition to the emerging downtown Martinez renaissance, the history and architectural character of the structure also appealed to Cooperative Center FCU. To preserve the authenticity of the building, the Credit Union plans to display historic artifacts in the lobby, including signs and plaques with the B.M. (“Bank of Martinez”) logo. The marble floor will also be preserved and the front plates of the historic security deposit boxes will be refurbished and transformed into an art installation.
Cooperative Center FCU hopes to complete its renovations and begin occupying the building by February, 2021. Residents looking for personal, home, and auto loans will now have an additional resource in downtown Martinez.
“After careful consideration and a review of our current membership migration patterns; North along Interstate 80 and East along Highway 4, the Martinez property offered a good mid-way point to relocate our Headquarters and establish our centralized lending center,” says Fadhila Holman, President/CEO Cooperative Center FCU. “Like Berkeley, Martinez has a rich history of community engagement and support. We believe this new location fits well with the credit union’s equally rich tradition of providing fair, affordable and socially responsible banking services, as well as our ongoing commitment to honoring our Community Development Credit Union designation.”
Holman went on to say “The credit union looks forward to contributing to the emerging vibrancy in downtown Martinez.”
This news comes in the wake of the credit union’s sale of its 2001 Ashby Ave, Berkeley location to Resources for Community Development. After carefully considering a broad mix of proposals from both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, the decision to sell the 2001 property came down to which proposal would best contribute to combatting the area housing crisis. The sale to RCD will:
- Provide 80+ units of 100% affordable housing
- Help stave off the gentrification and displacement of communities of color in South Berkeley
- Honor the contributions of the credit union’s former employee, Board Member/Chair and City of Berkeley Councilperson Maudelle Shirek, affectionately referred to as the conscience of the Berkeley City Council
Visit www.coopfcu.org to learn more about the timeline for the opening of the new Berkeley Branch location at 3015 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley CA and the new Loan Center and Headquarters at 634 Ferry Street, Martinez CA.
About Cooperative Center FCU: Certified as a Community Development Financial Institution and designated as Minority Depository Institution. For additional information on the credit union’s history and commitment to social and economic justice initiatives please see the About Us section on www.coopfcu.org