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Credit union buys adjacent buildings, plans expansion

By Ralph Echtinaw

The Gratiot Community Credit Union, located in downtown Alma, is expanding.

The home office on southwest corner of Center and Prospect will increase in size with additions to the south and west, said GCCU General Manager Brenda Miller at the annual members meeting Saturday. The result will be a facility that is 100 percent handicap accessible and have a bathroom for customers.

The contractor is Konwinsky Construction of Mt. Pleasant and expected to start work in July.

GCCU

This is the north end of the main office where the most recent addition was put on.

But that’s not all. The credit union recently acquired property to the south (where the existing parking lot will expand to) and two buildings immediately to the east on the other side of Prospect. The building furthest away from the home office was purchased and converted to a drive-through for $250,000 last year.

The building in the middle, formerly a lawyer’s office, cost $106,000 and will become the credit union’s call center and operations building. Mann Painting of Alma is expected do the interior work there.

The expansion of the home office was originally to cost $1.5 million, Miller said. But the purchase of the aforementioned buildings allows the scope of the expansion to be reduced, and the cost will be less, too. How much less remains to be seen, Miller said.

The GCCU has 6,198 members and more than $31 million in deposits. The organization has grown quite a bit since this reporter got an account in 2001. One expansion circa 2004 added office space to the north side of the home office. And a branch in Ithaca was opened around 2006.

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