Harborstone breaks ground for Fircrest location

Harborstone Credit Union officials and others gathered under a sunny sky Wednesday morning at the corner of Center and Mullen streets for the launch of the company’s new full service banking office in Fircrest.

Technically speaking, the building will be located in Tacoma, just outside Fircrest proper, said Rick Schmidtke, president and CEO of Harborstone, during opening remarks at the 9 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony.

“Harborstone’s been around for 47 years,” he said, adding the company was going forward with its plan to provide services for the area’s business community.

When the bank opens this fall, it will offer not only basic business banking services, but also employee benefits programs, investment and insurance services for business owners and well as a variety of loan programs.

City officials, including representatives of the Tacoma Economic Development Department and the Tacoma City Council, were on hand for the event.

“I want to welcome you to Tacoma. T-A-C-O-M-A,” joked District 3 City Councilmember Bil Moss, in reference to the location within Tacoma city limits.

The city is happy to welcome an organization that helps people build a good life, she said. Harborstone Credit Union’s stated mission is to help people meet their needs and realize their dreams.

“That’s my message to you today: fly, fly, fly,” Moss said.

“In 47 years, Harborstone – like other businesses – has grown a lot,” said Joe Pennington, vice chair of the Harborstone Board of Directors.

Harborstone Credit Union began in 1956 as McChord Credit Union on McChord Air Force Base, and has since become the largest not-for-profit financial cooperative headquar-tered in the South Sound, with consoli-dated assets of $550 million.

With a total of eight banking branches, an investment and insurance center, an active call center and Internet branch, Harborstone serves its 51,000 members primarily in the South Sound market from Auburn to Olympia.

For all of the changes the company has gone through over the years, there are a few key things that have not changed, Pennington said, including going the extra mile for customers, helping staff grow and succeed and working with the South Sound com-munity to make it a better place to live and work.

“The focus of the Center Street branch is to offer expanded services to meet most of small businesses’ needs,” said Mike McKeon, vice president of business services, in a statement. “We want to go that extra mile to help individuals, as well as small businesses, succeed.”

The building itself will be a 5,120-square-foot structure at 4720 Center Street. Three drive-up lanes, one drive-up ATM and a walk-up ATM are part of the building plans.

The Fircrest – or Tacoma – Harborstone Credit Union is scheduled to open in November.

Following the speeches, officials unveiled a billboard with a rendering of the new bank and then took up shovels to spoon some dirt in a ceremonial tree planting. Commemorative tote bags containing a Harborstone Community magazine, a beverage mug, Post-it brand notepads, pens, a $5 Home Depot gift card and a faux construction helmet were handed out. Attendees also enjoyed beverages and pastries povided at the event.