The $1.7 billion Spokane Teachers Credit Union plans to put a recently foreclosed property to good use, creating a new branch for itself and office space for others in an historic old building in downtown Spokane, Wash.
The 113,400-member STCU obtained the Hutton Building last year and its board voted this month to convert it into an anchor for the fast-growing credit union, which has doubled in membership in the past five years.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983, the Hutton Building is named for Levi and May Hutton, who opened the building's first four floors in 1907 and added three more in 1910, STCU said.
The Huttons were silver mine millionaires who lived in a fourth-floor apartment where they hosted lavish parties with such notable guests as presidential candidate and future Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, STCU said.
Plans are still being finalized, STCU said, but include a new branch and commercial lending offices to handle its growing member business lending services, as well as office space it will sell on some floors.
"We intend to continue growing our commercial lending program and it's logical for us to have a presence where those activities occur," said Tom Johnson, president/CEO of STCU, which bills itself as the largest inland credit union in the Northwest.
The credit union has doubled in membership in the past five years and last year its commercial lending staff made more than $33.7 million in loans.
Johnson said the project "gives STCU an opportunity to reclaim an architectural treasure" while participating in the growth of downtown Spokane. He said STCU plans to maintain its nearby U-District location in the historic Schade Towers and its downtown branch in the skywalk level of Crescent Court.
Administrative offices and most other back-office functions will remain at STCU's headquarters building in nearby Liberty Lake, Wash.
STCU also noted that Levi Hutton, who had been an orphan, funded the creation of Hutton Settlement, which still operates in the Spokane Valley as a long-term care home for children.
"It's appropriate that the name Hutton, which is so closely associated with helping Spokane children, is now linked with STCU, an organization founded by Spokane teachers and dedicated to education and public service," Johnson said.