By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Western Bank will have a new home and a new location off of Chicago Avenue in the future, but Connie Landry, executive vice president for Western Bank, said the new building is still in the preliminary stages of that planning.
The current Western Bank office is located at 203 S. Main St. (in the downtown area). According to Landry, it’s been located in the downtown area for more than 10 years. The new Western Bank building will be located at 220 N. Chicago Ave.
“We’ve been interested in a different location for quite some time now,” Landry said. “We wanted a larger facility with a drive-up window. We wanted to be more readily accessible to our customers.”
Landry said she’s not sure whether the new facility will also have automated teller machines (ATMs).
“We’re in the very preliminary stages of the new building,” Landry said. “We still don’t have the specs for the building.”
Landry said the goal for the bank is to move the three employees out of the current building Western Bank officials are renting and into the new facility. She said she is anticipating an addition in staff members once they are in the new building.
A contract has been signed between Western Bank officials and MainStreet organization members, according to a resolution adopted last week by city coucilors. According to the county tax assessor’s office, part of the property is owned by Don Heflin and the other part of the property is owned by Kaare and Kathryn Haddeland. Stephen Doerr, city attorney, said the property should exchange hands to the Western Bank on June 1. He also said that if the apartment renters haven’t already been given a notice to relocate, they will be given a notice to do so.
No determinations has been disclosed as to whether the current apartment owners or Western Bank officials will be the ones giving the notice to the renters.
“I’m not sure at this juncture,” Landry said.
Haddeland could not be reached for comment on Friday.
In the resolution, the apartments were labeled as being dilapidated.
“The whole goal is to target properties that are dilapidated,” Jeremy Sturm, economic development director, said. “We (city officials) are hoping something can be done with economic development funds to encourage redevelopment.”
Sturm said Danny Woodward, Portales MainStreet organization president, and Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega spearheaded the movement to redevelop the property.
Landry said Western Bank customers will be notified through flyers and in the newspaper before the move is made to the new building. There is also a Western Bank location in Clovis with 15 employees.