Macatawa Moving To Custer Building

September 12, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — Macatawa Bank is in the process of purchasing the Custer Building at 45 Ottawa Ave. NW and plans to use it to consolidate its operations downtown.

The bank expects to close on the deal the first part of April, said Regional President Ken Hoexum.

Macatawa’s retail branch will remain at 126 Ottawa Ave., but the bank’s mortgage, trust and commercial banking services will be housed together in the 15,000-square-foot Custer Building, which is currently home to a Custer Office Environments Inc. showroom.

Those banking services are currently spread between Macatawa’s 126 Ottawa branch location and the Ledyard Building across the street.

“This complements the whole delivery of our services in the downtown area,” Hoexum remarked. “It just gives a greater sense of teamwork to have all our people working together under one roof and it gives us, I think, a little better identity in the marketplace because it’s a standalone facility that has its own complimentary parking for our customers. We’re excited about the location given the fact that it’s right across the street from the new art museum.”

He said Macatawa believes it will add a lot of value to the community by consolidating within a “signature, Class A-type” of facility in downtown Grand Rapids. 

Though the Custer Building will house only mortgage, trust and commercial banking activities to begin with, he said at some point a branch facility will be added.

Macatawa personnel likely won’t move into the building until the later part of next year. After the building’s acquisition is finalized in April, Hoexum said, the bank has to give current occupants some time to vacate and then the building will be remodeled both internally and externally.

Macatawa will occupy 100 percent of the building, and about 45 to 50 existing bank personnel will relocate there.

Although leasing the building was an option, the bank preferred outright ownership, Hoexum noted.

“We do lease the current facilities, but it fits our style a little bit better at this juncture to own the building as opposed to leasing it.

“We think the consolidation downtown is beneficial to us and beneficial to our customers, most importantly. We do provide parking for our customers now but they have to utilize ramps in downtown Grand Rapids. This will enable them to use the surface lot that’s adjacent to the building. The more conveniences we can offer our customers, the more attractive we become as the preferred provider for financial services.”           

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