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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – When the Nedoff family decided it was time to retire after 60 years in the restaurant business they turned to Choice One Federal Credit Union-and asked if their credit union was interested in buying it. “It was the perfect location for our new headquarters,” said Choice One FCU Marketing Vice President Susan Bat. “We needed to be in the downtown area and our old office was just too small. We were honored that our longtime members would offer the building to us.” According to Bat, the old headquarters was “way too small” and spilt in four sections and could not even house the loan department so the $40 million credit union had to lease office space two blocks down. Once the purchase was final, Choice One President/CEO John Kebles took each employee for a walk through the building and asked for input on layout and design. “It was such a great experience,” said Bat. “Each of us put in our wish list about our new work area right down to picking colors. What made it so neat is that when the work was completed no one could complain about their space.” For five months, Architect Lawrence Meyers and Associates worked on renovating the 8,400 square-foot space incorporating both the employees’ ideas with a few original detailing from the restaurant. “It was quite a job. Everything had to be changed,” said Bat. “The loan department used to be the banquet area so we put up walls, the kitchen is now the administrative and back office, the old restaurant booth and counter are now the teller area and so on. The members absolutely love this place and so do we.” The facility features two drive-up lanes, an ATM, a loan dept off the lobby, state-of-art security system including cameras in the parking lot which holds 156, a board room (a first for the credit union) and break room which is reminiscent of the old restaurant. The Nedoff family was the guest of honor at the grand opening and over 800 people attended the festivities. The entire project, including computer upgrades, cost $1.2 million. Recently, Choice One FCU has been presented the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce’s 2002 Pride of Place Interior Design Award for its efforts. The award was presented for the “remarkable conversion, incorporating the history of the former restaurant into their main headquarters.” [email protected]

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