Bank branching out with new downtown site

  • Sue Waldburger<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 12:59pm

Any day now The Bank of Washington expects to have a building permit in hand for its new branch building at 202 Fifth Ave. S. in downtown Edmonds.

The new structure will house operations for the Edmonds branch that currently occupies leased space at 303 Fifth Ave. S.

The single-story, 2,700-square-foot building will fill the vacant lot that formerly held an AM/PM Mini Mart and gas station. The Bank of Washington will own the building it’s constructing on land that, according to permits filed at Edmonds City Hall, is owned by BP West and Coast Products, LLC.

Construction will begin as soon as the necessary permits are in hand, according to bank CEO Gary Schmitt. Wilcox Construction, a local firm whose headquarters sit just south of the project, is the builder.

Schmitt said construction should take about five months, which is about a month shorter than the usual time frame for a new branch.

“We all agree we don’t want to tie up downtown Edmonds. Bob Wilcox (owner of the construction company) is sensitive to that. We’d like to be out of there before the holidays so there aren’t any issues with holiday shopping,” Schmitt said.

The new branch will be a brick structure with one entrance on Fifth Avenue and Dayton Street and another facing south towards the building housing Windermere Real Estate and Tully’s Coffee. There will be a drive-up window that exits onto Fifth Avenue or the alley to the west.

No new employees are expected to be hired at the branch that will be about 40 percent larger than the present one, Schmitt said.

The new branch will have 11 parking spots. Schmitt said the bank and the city are working on an agreement that will make the parking spaces available to the general public during non-bank hours.

Sharing the parking lot is “just the right thing to do,” Schmitt said. “Many of our customers are downtown business people and they have issues with parking. We could have leased out the spots … but we think this is better.”

The Bank of Washington is a full-service community bank with headquarters in Lynnwood. It began in Edmonds as The Bank of Edmonds and changed its name in 2000 to better reflect its market base.

There are six branches and plans for a seventh one at Everett Mall, Schmitt said.

According to the bank’s Web site, the board of directors consist of Schmitt, representing the bank; Mark Trumper, CEO of MaverickLabel.Com; Gary Jones, owner of Westgate Travel; Stuart Sierer, first vice president of Paine Webber; Elizabeth Copstead, certified public accountant with Elizabeth Copstead PS; William Sanden, president of Fortune Management Inc.; Michael Echelbarger, president of Echelbarger Properties; Erik Nelson, owner of Lynnwood Honda; Bob Drewel, executive director of Puget Sound Regional Council; and Robert (Bob) Wolfe, co-managing partner of PNW Venture Associates.

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