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Local bank wants to expand

January 26, 2007

The following is an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, to visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel web site, click here.

January 24, 2007 Local bank wants to expand By JONDI GUMZ Sentinel staff writer Santa Cruz County Bank wants to branch out, again. The locally owned bank, which has grown to three branches and $125 million in assets since it was established three years ago, wants to open in Capitola. The location being eyed is 819 Bay Ave., Suite D, the new addition to the Nob Hill Food-Longs Drug shopping center remodeled last year. Already in the complex: Peet's Coffee & Tea; Lollypops, a children's clothing store; and Mel Belle, a boutique of women's clothing. "It's a very attractive center," said Mary Anne Carson, bank vice president and director of marketing. "We see it as a one-stop location" The idea is to add convenience for customers, she added, explaining that location is near the freeway and "underbanked" Union Bank has a branch on Bay Avenue, but most of the other banks in Capitola are on 41st Avenue. "We've heard from a lot of folks who don't want to deal with volume of traffic on 41st," Carson said. The bank must complete negotiations for a lease and obtain local, state and federal approval before it can open. Bank officials said last fall that a Mid-County bank was a high priority to serve customers in Aptos, Soquel and Capitola. The bank has offices in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Scotts Valley. "We anticipate that, if approved, we would be operational in March or April of this year, dependent of course on how quickly the construction can be finalized," Carson said. Plans were submitted Monday to the city of Capitola for permits to build interior improvements, three teller stations, offices, bathrooms and a conference room, in the 1,400-square-foot space. A public hearing is expected to be scheduled in February before the Planning Commission, said Community Development Director Juliana Rebagliati. The bank earlier submitted applications to the state Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which regulate banks. "We are awaiting response from these agencies," Carson said. Proposed hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. An ATM and night depository also are in the plans. As for branch staffing, Karen Marcum, a vice president at the Santa Cruz location, is in line to become the branch manager. Marcum joined the bank in November 2005. To open the branch, "we would probably hire two additional employees," Carson said. "That is yet to be determined" The bank currently has 42 employees. In October, it reported its fifth consecutive quarterly profit. The fourth quarter earnings report is due out next week. Contact Jondi Gumz at jgumz@santacruzsentinel.com. Empty spaces equal opportunities These businesses moved out in 2006, and spaces remain empty Retail Scotts Valley Junction (was Moviehouse DVD) 6221-A Graham Hill Road, Felton (was Business with Pleasure) 911 Soquel Ave Santa Cruz (was Albertsons) 2801 Soquel Ave Santa Cruz (was Cali Feed) 1475 41st Ave., Capitola (was Albertsons) Restaurant 800 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz (was Takara) 381 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz (was Maui Maui Hawaiian BBQ) 538 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz (was Pearl) 712 Front St., Santa Cruz (was Erik's DeliCafe) 1549 41st Ave. Capitola (was Tiny's) 1467 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville (was Maui Tacos)

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