By Jim Davis
Herald Business Journal editor
EVERETT — Bellingham-based Peoples Bank plans to open a flagship financial center in downtown Everett by next summer, saying there’s a need in Snohomish County for their brand of community-minded banking.
Construction is expected to begin this month on a $3.4 million renovation of an existing building at the corner of 2702 Colby Ave., in Everett. The bank plans a complete renovation of two floors, adding exterior improvements including cladding, canopies and signage as well as landscaping and other changes.
The project is expected to be complete by June 2016.
In addition, Peoples Bank also opened last week a new branch at 6920 Evergreen Way, in Everett, their fourth in Snohomish County.
The planned flagship financial center and the new branch are important pieces of the bank’s long-term commitment to Everett and the county, said Tony Repanich, a Peoples Bank executive vice president, chief retail banking and marketing officer.
“Our plans in Everett represent our positive outlook on the market,” he said. “We believe there is room for a sound, locally minded and service focused, community bank like Peoples Bank. Our investment downtown and on Evergreen Way demonstrates our commitment to that belief.”
Peoples Bank has primarily operated out of Whatcom and Skagit counties, but started expanding about 14 years ago. They decided to bypass Snohomish County, opening their first branch in King County in 2001 and then a branch in Island County in 2004.
“When we started moving further south at that time, Snohomish County was very well banked with a lot of strong community banks and credit unions,” Repanich said. “With the downturn, unfortunately, a lot of those community banks went away.”
Their first branch in Snohomish County opened in Mill Creek in 2006. Since then, Peoples Bank has opened a branch inside a Fred Meyer in Snohomish and a branch at 2733 Colby Ave. in Everett, just a block away from their planned financial center.
Peoples Bank will move that existing branch on Colby into the new financial center. Afterward, the bank expects to employ 15 to 20 bankers at the site. It will house teams for commercial lending, investment services and home mortgages and will also feature a regional training center for bank employees.
Peoples Bank has more than $1.3 billion in assets. The bank was founded in 1921 and operates 24 branches and three loan production offices located throughout Washington.