You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 5:58 a.m.

Lake Trust Credit Union seeks to build new branch on west side of Ann Arbor

By Paula Gardner

Lake Trust Credit Union seeks to build a new branch in a former bank building on West Stadium in Ann Arbor.

Site plans were submitted in early August to demolish the former Fidelity Bank at West Stadium Boulevard and West Liberty Street, and rebuild a retail banking center for the credit union.

The credit union’s intention, said spokeswoman Danielle Brehmer, is to purchase the property as part of the effort to build the new facility.

The new branch at 2180 W. Stadium Blvd. would be 3,686 square feet, along with a drive-through lane, according to site plans.

“This would be a full operational branch,” Brehmer said.

The Lansing-based credit union - formed this year out of a merger that included the former Detroit Edison Credit Union in southeast Michigan and NuUnion Credit Union in Lansing - now represents 155,000 members in 35 counties in the state.

The credit union operates in Ann Arbor out of two locations: 2222 Packard St. and a strip mall at 2350 W. Stadium Blvd.

If Ann Arbor officials approve the building plans, the existing West Stadium operations would shift a few blocks east to the new standalone location, Brehmer said.

“We’ve outgrown that space,” she said.

The request to the city involves three steps, according to city planner Chris Cheng:

• A land division so the credit union can buy the corner building of the parcel, now owned by Calvert & Lasalle LLC of Farmington Hills. • Demolish the existing building and construct a new branch. • Amend the former site plan for the other retail building on the property - now home to O’Reilly Auto Parts and a vacant CVS - so that it conforms with city zoning after the lot split.

According to city records, the credit union owns both of its Ann Arbor locations. Information on what it plans for its property on West Stadium if the new building is approved was not available.

Lake Trust Credit Union has $1.5 billion in deposits, according to its website, making it the fourth largest credit union in Michigan. It operates 23 branches and employs about 400.

The changes sought by Lake Trust follow several other moves by local credit unions this year:

• University of Michigan Credit Union bought the former Ann Arbor News headquarters in downtown Ann Arbor in June. • Ypsilanti Area Federal Credit Union changed its name to Washtenaw Federal Credit Union on July 1. • DFCU, based in Dearborn, agreed in June to acquire Ann Arbor’s MidWest Financial Credit Union.

City officials started their review of the plan this week. It next heads to the Planning Commission and then City Council for approval.



Mon, Aug 9, 2010 : 4:42 p.m.

It was once a grocery store, but not Kroger. It was Wrigley's!


Mon, Aug 9, 2010 : 10:30 a.m.

The current location has a drive thru but it's just awkwardly laid out. I have never been too keen on it. Glad to see they're expanding and things are looking up.


Mon, Aug 9, 2010 : 7:21 a.m.

I don't bank at this financial institution, so I don't know if the current location has a drive thru. If it does not have one and the new location will...this will improve the customer service levels.


Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 9:15 p.m.

The current building used to be a grocery story...Kroger? Good story Paula. Just one tiny correction; the $1.5 B is assets, not deposits. Thanks to the joy of fractional reserve banking, their deposits are likely about one tenth or less of their assets...

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 8:54 p.m.

@Ann English: the city planning documents for this transition actually encompass three separate transactions, including a lot split that separates the bank (which will be demolished) site from the rest of the complex. Presumably none of those existing stores will be affected directly. I think it makes sense for them to make this move, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with the old Hollywood Video/credit union building and parking lot (a huge area very poorly used). I hope that what takes its place will be a well-designed complex that will add to the revitalization of West Stadium and provide some needed services. I think we have the drugstore, oil change, and bank branch areas covered.

dading dont delete me bro

Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 8:36 p.m.

yes, what the heck is going on w/the back half of the area of the building they are in? it got walled off a few years back. there used to be office's (or at least employees and desks back there) the parking where they are at stinks. plain and simple. as a member of two credit unions, if you close your account at lake, move it over to washtenaw federal (formerly ypsilanti area). service there is great. they are building a new branch too.


Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 7:45 p.m.

"According to city records, the credit union owns both of its Ann Arbor locations." I'm a member of Lake Trust and I support the move. I'd like the convenience of a drive-through lane. @Gorc: Good point about the location being more visible.


Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 5:45 p.m.

This move makes absolutely no sense whatsoever from what I know. Space is not an issue at this location, unless they think they have too much room. They moved the loan department out of that portion of the building, which to my knowledge is still unused. There are some potential reasons for the idea to move to the new location. If they are renting the building, the owner of the building may be in some trouble with the closure of Hollywood video next to the Credit Union. I suspect the reason is rent based. I think they rent this location, and are paying for a larger space than they need. If this is the case I understand, but do not like the move. I would much rather that they try to purchase the building they are in (if they are renting) and then reconifure the location to meet their needs while opening the rest of the space for additional businesses to rent space.


Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 4 p.m.

Location, location, location...three important criteria any retailer needs to increase their customer base. The intersection they are moving to creates greater visibility and increased traffic flows from two busy thoroughfares. Currently they are only exposed to traffic counts from only West Stadium, it's a smart move.


Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 2:50 p.m.

Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems more like a downsizing than an upgrade. When HRACU was bought out, they closed off the whole back half of their current space, at least to customers. The place is huge, how have they outgrown it if they aren't even using it all? Maybe they just want a prettier building, or maybe the property they are on now will sell for more than a new building will cost on a smaller lot. It doesn't really bother me as a member, but I would like to hear more about what the reasoning behind this decision is. Moving from their current location to a busy corner lot with less parking doesn't seem to be an idea aimed at making things more convenient for members.

Ann English

Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 2:45 p.m.

The article says nothing about the Greenback dollar store between the former CVS store and O'Reilly Auto Parts. If the credit union moves to that area, will it affect Greenback? That dollar store is the one closest to the current credit union location. I don't want Greenback to go away. Greenback Dollar Store sells a wider variety of teas and dried beans than any Dollar Tree in Washtenaw County does. Today it's pretty easy to turn left from the credit union, perhaps because of the pedestrian islands. It is hard to turn left onto Liberty Street from Greenback, but I avoid a lot of traffic after that by turning right onto Burwood if I'm not shopping anywhere between Greenback and ALDI.

Rod Johnson

Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 12:23 p.m.

Judy--you'll close your account just because they're moving a couple blocks? You must really like that location. I wouldn't be surprised if demolition for that whole building was in the works now that the CU and Hollywood Video are leaving. It's awkwardly sized and has a weird traffic pattern as is. Let's hope for something less strip-mally than most of what's on Stadium currently.


Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 9:46 a.m.

We have a business that is expanding during these tough economic times and people are sending negative vibes. Let them expand, put some people to work and increase the tax base of the city.

scooter dog

Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 9:08 a.m.

I have been with them for 35 yrs and I see nothing wrong with the present location. They have the best loan rates anywhere!

Judy S

Sun, Aug 8, 2010 : 8:14 a.m.

I think the Credit Union should reconsider and keep the current West Stadium location. It will be very hard to enter and exit the proposed site. The branch they are now in has more space and potential and is easy to access. Too bad it now looks derelict, and almost abandoned. Ever since the new owners took over the thing has gone down hill. I will personally close my accounts if this move takes place. Good bye and good luck, we stood behind you for 30 years and watched as you prospered and then slowly went downhill.