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Bank of America consolidates to ‘hub for West Michigan’ in downtown Grand Rapids COURTESY RENDERING

Bank of America consolidates to ‘hub for West Michigan’ in downtown Grand Rapids

BY Sunday, March 12, 2017 08:00pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Bank of America’s planned move to a new regional office in downtown Grand Rapids comes as the bank seeks to grow its West Michigan presence.

The 40,000 square feet of space at 250 Monroe NW in Grand Rapids will enable Bank of America to consolidate downtown staff from a number of business lines into a single location.

“We’re going to have the team all in one place. It just makes it easier to do business with us and easier for us to collaborate with one another,” said Renee Tabben, Bank of America’s market president for the Grand Rapids area since April 2016.

“We are reorganizing and really kind of repositioning ourselves to make a very clear statement to West Michigan that we want to be part of the growth that is Grand Rapids,” Tabben said. “Grand Rapids is an important growth market for Bank of America.”

Bank of America will become the anchor tenant in the renovated 160,000-square-foot building, owned by CWD Real Estate Investment. The bank plans to lease space on the first, fifth and sixth floors of the facility. Employees currently work downtown at 215 Monroe NW and at the Waters Building on Ottawa Avenue, plus at eight retail financial centers in the Grand Rapids area.

CWD purchased 250 Monroe in 2014 and is in the process of finishing the building’s first significant upgrades since it was built in 1982. The renovations should be completed by the end of the month, with tenant build-outs continuing through the summer, according to CWD Managing Partner Sam Cummings.

Bank of America previously had offices in CWD’s Trust Building at 40 Pearl St., but moved out when Huntington Bank relocated its offices to the facility.

The company’s Merrill Lynch, global commercial banking, business banking and consumer teams will consolidate at 250 Monroe, which will become “a hub in West Michigan,” Tabben said. The new location also will house the bank’s senior leadership for the region.

Locally, the bank’s market share in the Grand Rapids area lags its statewide share.

As of June 30, 2016, Bank of America ranked sixth in the Grand Rapids area with $934.5 million in deposits through eight branch offices for a 4.55-percent share of the market, according to the FDIC’s 2016 Summary of Deposits.

Across all of Michigan as of last June, Bank of America ranked fourth among 136 banks operating in the state with $16.56 billion in deposits through 127 offices, or a 13.46-percent market share, according to the FDIC.

Bank of America has eight different lines of business and could add locations in the Grand Rapids area in the future, Tabben said.

As with many banks that seek to balance technology investments in the digital age with brick-and-mortar locations, Bank of America at the corporate level is “reviewing our strategy to go to market,” said Tabben, who oversees a region that includes Kent, Ottawa, Barry and Montcalm counties.

“We want to be very intentional and smart and thoughtful about where we’re going to invest because we want to be here for the long term,” she said.

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