Moving outside of its Detroit-area market for the first time, Level One Bank plans to enter the Grand Rapids area.
The Farmington Hills-based Level One said it will open a branch in early December in a former PNC Bank office on Burton Street in Grand Rapids’ southeast side. The bank is presently seeking to hire up to 13 people, including commercial lenders, mortgage loan originators, business development officers, a branch manager, and other branch personnel.
“Grand Rapids has one of the strongest and fastest growing economies in the nation, one of the lowest unemployment rates, and is well recognized as one of the best places to live in the country,” Level One President and CEO Patrick Fehring said in a statement. “We are incredibly attracted to the robust market that Grand Rapids offers for a community bank and we look forward to serving this city well with an eye toward future expansion here.”
Level One Bank has 10 offices in Metropolitan Detroit with $1.04 billion in assets as of June 30, deposits of $917.8 million and $882.3 million in net loans, according to a quarterly financial report filed with the FDIC. Level One in February closed on the $17 million acquisition of the Bank of Michigan, also based in Farmington Hills.
Level One is the latest area bank of a few to seek a position in the Grand Rapids market. Earlier this year, Sparta-based ChoiceOne Bank, which has traditionally focused on rural markets north of Grand Rapids, opened a lending office in Grand Rapids, as did Commercial Bank based in Ithaca, north of Lansing. They were followed in April by Kansas City, Mo.-based Commerce Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: CBSH), which opened an office on Monroe Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids and over time wants to add more locations across the region.