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Grand River Bank expands with east side location in GR COURTESY RENDERING

Grand River Bank expands with east side location in GR

BY Friday, August 16, 2019 01:03pm

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP — Grand River Bank plans to open a new office on the east side of Grand Rapids by the middle of next year.

The full-service office will become the decade-old bank’s second location and positions the institution to capitalize on an attractive market.

With the site at the intersection of Crahen Drive and Fulton Avenue, Grand River Bank gains “great visibility” in a growing area that can increase the bank’s brand awareness to “people who might not know who we are on the other side of town,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Liz Bracken.

“We just think with the visibility of the location, it will create an opportunity for a lot more folks to see a Grand River Bank sign and hopefully want to learn more about who we are,” Bracken told MiBiz. “We started 10 years ago and have had fantastic growth the last 10 years, and it’s stronger than ever. We view this as a good time to take that next step in our growth and add a branch and better cover both halves of the market.”

Grand Rapids construction firm BDR Inc. is developing the office in a partnership with Grand River Bank, which will occupy the first floor. The bank expects to move in by early summer of 2020.

Since forming, the community bank has operated from a single location on Wilson Avenue in Grandville, an office that’s now at capacity. A new office on the east side solves that issue while giving Grand River Bank a presence in the attractive Ada and Cascade area.

“With all of the growth that’s happening that way, it’s a really good way to marry up the two needs into one building and expand,” Bracken said.

Grand River Bank already serves several commercial clients on the east of the city, she said. The bank recently hired two mortgage lenders with experience in the east-side market who now work out of a temporary, leased office on Cascade Road alongside a commercial lender.

As of June 30, Grand River Bank had $294.5 million in total assets, up 22 percent from a year earlier, according to a quarterly financial report filed with the FDIC. From the end of 2016 to midyear 2019, the bank’s assets grew more than 50 percent.

Deposits have grown strongly as well. The bank ended the second quarter with $255.1 million in deposits, up 20 percent from a year earlier and up nearly 52 percent from the end of 2016, according to FDIC financial reports.

Grand River Bank recorded $718,000 in net income at midyear and $1.3 million for the 2018 calendar year.

The bank has no plans right now for further office development beyond the Crahen Drive location, although “it’ll be something we’ll have our eyes on as we look ahead,” Bracken said.

“In the general strategy, we will not have lots of branches, but it’s not inconceivable that we could add one or two more strategically around West Michigan,” she said. “We’ll keep an eye on it as the opportunity arises. We do have plans to grow at a pretty good clip. It’s probably closer to five to 10 (years) if we decide we’re going to do it.”

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