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Credit union works all-cash deal for branch

Michael Schwartz March 4, 2013 0
The space at 9960 Midlothian Turnpike soon will be home to a Connects location. (Courtesy of Colliers)

The space at 9960 Midlothian Turnpike will house a Connects FCU location. (Courtesy of Colliers)

A local credit union has moved in on a big bank’s territory.

Connects Federal Credit Union bought a former BB&T branch at 9960 Midlothian Turnpike that will serve as the new home to its third location. The $72 million credit union paid $956,000 in an all-cash deal that closed in late February.

Connects will relocate another of its Chesterfield County locations to the 2,770-square-foot branch. Connects spokesperson Danielle McLaughlin said it currently shares a property informally known as the “credit union mall” about six miles up the road with two other credit unions.

“The owner is growing, and we’re growing, too, and they’d like to take the space over,” McLaughlin said. “We saw that empty BB&T branch sitting there and got the ball rolling.”

That property is owned by Call Federal Credit and sits near the intersection of Hull Street and Courthouse Road.

Connects moved in there about 10 years ago, when it and its neighbors had distinct fields of membership that didn’t encroach on each other’s territories.

But in recent years, all three were granted community charters, a designation that allows them to offer membership to just about anyone in the Greater Richmond area.

Connects was founded in 1950 by phone company employees of what is now Verizon. It was known then as Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Employees Federal Credit Union.

Over time it added other employee groups, including local HCA hospital workers. So the C&P name, in addition to being a mouthful, no longer fit. It eventually changed its name to Connects and received its community charter in 2007.

Now headquartered on Shrader Road in the West End near Parham Road and West Broad Street, Connects has more than 11,000 members.

McLaughlin said Connects is aiming to open the new branch in August or September. It will staff the location with four employees and will freshen up the property with new paint, countertops, siding and signage. It will be the credit union’s first new branch since it opened one two years ago in Mechanicsville near the Rutland shopping center.

Clark Jones, with Jones Realty Construction, represented Connects.

Bill Mattox and Steve Gentil, brokers with Colliers International, represented BB&T in the deal.

BB&T put the branch on the market about six months ago at $975,000, Gentil said. It was built in 1979.

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