WFCU Opening Downtown Branch

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Source: Dave Hall/Windsor Star

More than 70 years after opening its first branch in the city’s suburbs, the Windsor Family Credit Union is taking over space at the busiest intersection downtown.

The new WFCU branch, announced Wednesday, will open in 12 months and replace CTV Windsor on the second level of the former Palace Theatre building at 300 Ouellette Ave.

The financial institution will join The Windsor Star, another new tenant, in the 27-year-old complex which lies at the heart of downtown revitalization efforts which also include buildings throughout the core being renovated to accommodate thousands of university and college students and faculty.

“We’ve been looking at opening a downtown branch for the past 18 months or so and given the other initiatives what are happening in the city centre, this is the perfect time to make this move,” said Marty Komsa, president and chief executive officer of the WFCU.
“There’s already a considerable number of our members living and working downtown. We also have a number of commercial clients in the city centre who will be able to access our services much more easily.”

The Windsor Star relocated its downtown office late last year, becoming the anchor tenant at 300 Ouellette Ave.

“When we moved here, we wanted to make sure it was the beginning of another phase in the rebirth of downtown,” said editor-in-chief Marty Beneteau. “We want to support like-minded individuals and companies who share the our vision and civic obligation in the revitalization of our city centre.”

While there are still vacancies, attracting The Windsor Star and the WFCU will help draw in additional stable tenants, said David Mady, of Mady Developments, which owns the building.

“My father built this complex 27 years ago but it’s been on life support for the past 15 years so it’s very encouraging to be sitting here with two people who have the vision and commitment to revitalize our downtown,” Mady said.

“We like to think of this location as centre ice and we believe it’s a sign of more positive developments to come. We are delighted that the WFCU is putting its faith in our downtown and in our property.”

The new 5,000-square-foot credit union branch on the second level of the building will have 15 employees and offer a full range of financial services.

“When you look at the whole appearance of the building, we realize this is where we have to be,” said Komsa. “This is the hub of downtown, the city square and there is no higher profile location.”

It will be the first WFCU branch with no on-site parking, but Komsa said he anticipates the branch will draw customers who live and work downtown.

It’s the second branch opening announcement by the credit union in a month, following on the heels of a commitment to open a new location at the University of Windsor’s Centre of Innovation on Wyandotte Street West between Sunset and California avenues.

The announcements bring the number of WFCU branches to nine – five in Windsor and others in LaSalle, Tecumseh, Leamington and Amherstburg.

CTV Windsor is moving its studio and 19 employees to the former Bell Canada building on Goyeau Street by the end of the year.

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