The Inland Northwest's largest credit union on Friday announced plans to expand into the historic Hutton Building in downtown Spokane, opening a new branch location and commercial lending offices, while offering office space for purchase on some floors.
STCU, the 113,000-member credit union, obtained the Hutton Building by foreclosure in 2012. Rather than put it on the open market, the STCU Board of Directors voted in January to turn it into a downtown anchor for the growing credit union, with $1.7 billion in assets.
"We intend to continue growing our commercial lending program and it's logical for us to have a presence where those activities occur," said Tom Johnson, STCU president/CEO.
News of the STCU's expansion comes on the day Spokane Mayor David Condon was scheduled to deliver his State of the City address, an event that often highlights economic development.
While exact plans are still in the works, STCU plans to open the Hutton Building Branch this year on the main floor of the building, located at 9 S. Washington (the corner of Sprague and Washington). The building also will house STCU's commercial lending staff, who in 2012 made more than $33.7 million in loans.
Johnson said the project "gives STCU an opportunity to reclaim an architectural treasure," which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Johnson said the STCU management team and board of directors are confident the downtown core will continue spreading east toward Division Street and the University District. Another sign of that growth is developer Ron Wells' recent announcement that he's working on a plan to restore the Ridpath Hotel building, just a block from the Hutton Building.
While planning the move into the Hutton Building, STCU has no plans to give up either its nearby U-District location in the historic Schade Towers, or its Downtown Branch in the skywalk level of Crescent Court. Likewise, administrative offices and most other back-office functions will remain at STCU's headquarters building at Liberty Lake.
In addition, STCU remains committed to opening an Argonne Branch, probably in the first half of 2014. The credit union, which has seen its membership more than double in five years, has 2 ½ acres at the corner of Mullan and Mission, just south of Interstate 90 in the Spokane Valley.
The Hutton Building is named for Levi and May Hutton, who opened the building's first four floors in 1907 and added three more in 1910. The Huttons, who became millionaires when the Hercules Mine struck silver in 1901, lived in a fourth floor apartment where they hosted lavish parties with such notable guests as presidential candidate (and future Secretary of State) William Jennings Bryan.
Levi Hutton, who had been an orphan, later constructed Hutton Settlement, which still operates in the Spokane Valley, providing a home for children in need of long-term care.
"It's appropriate that the name Hutton, which is so closely associated with helping Spokane children, is now linked with STCU, an organization founded by Spokane teachers and dedicated to education and public service," Johnson said.
Founded in 1934, STCU is a not-for-profit cooperative with 113,000 members, more than $1.7 billion in total assets. The planned Hutton Building Branch and Argonne Branch will be our 17th and 18th branch locations in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.