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CoastHills Credit Union’s new planned corporate center will be a highly visible part of a highly anticipated development that may change how people interact with the city of Santa Maria.

The three-story, $25 million, 90,000-square-foot project will greet visitors and residents of the city as a key building of the Enos Ranchos development at Highway 101 and Betteravia Road.

“We are really excited. It is a long time coming,” CoastHills President and CEO Jeff York said. “The location is phenomenal.”

York said the development happening there will create a new gateway into Santa Maria.

When complete, the building will be called the CoastHills Center.

The CoastHills Center will have a new state-of-the-art bank branch on the first floor, along with a large community room available for credit union members to use and room for support staff. The third floor will become home to other support departments, management offices and an employee lunchroom.

The second floor will give the credit union room to grow and build more community partners.

York said they plan to make the second floor available for lease until such time they need to expand their operations as the financial institution grows.

“We have had some folks that have approached us. The overarching focus would be on complimentary industry and companies,” York said.

York said CoastHills would like to find more than one community partner to lease to.

“It is going to be a state-of-the-art building,” York said.

When coming up with the plans for the CoastHills Center, York said he wanted to use the credit union’s brand as its inspiration.

“Vibrant, dedicated and open are our brand attributes. We wanted to make sure we encompassed those in the facility,” he said.

“Because it is going to be at the gateway to Santa Maria, we wanted it to be special. We want people to look at it and recognize that it's CoastHills, that we are part of the community ... and that we are here to stay."

The bank has secured the land its new corporate headquarters will be built on for quite a long time.

“When you build a building like this, we tried to build it for a long time down the road. Minimum 30 years. We have a lease on the land for 30 years and two options after that, so it could go close to 100 years of lease,” York said.

“You want to build something that is going to last and will make a difference and adapt to what the future holds.”

Work is expected to start in May and wrap at the end of 2018.

A modern banking experience

For CoastHills’ leaders it is import that the institution, which started nearly 60 years ago, grow alongside technology.

Included in the CoastHill Centers’ first-floor credit union design is a new banking experience the credit union is only now branching out to use.

It will be the first local credit union location to use Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs), which service members through a virtual face-to-face experience with live bank employees in a different location.

“The branch experience is going to be different,” York said.

Customers will interact with a live employee, but the transaction will be electronic.

“It’s for efficiency, for safety. We feel like because it is a transaction it should be done quickly but with a personal touch,” York said.

CoastHills is already using similar technology at its newest Ventura County branch at 125 N. Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.

Community impact is paramount

“We are excited to be a part of (the Enos Ranchos Development) because of its size and its impact on the community,” York said. “Just sales tax alone, with the big box stores and the auto dealers coming in, it is going to be phenomenal for the city and it’s neat to be a part of that.”

CoastHills plans to consolidate some of its operations throughout the Central Coast at its new building once it is complete, which will add more users to the Santa Maria economy and work to make the city better.

“The money we are investing in the local economy, as well. We are building the building and bringing staff here we are excited about it,” York said.

Honoring commitments

York said CoastHills will work to maintain its commitment to the Lompoc Valley, where the credit union originally organized in 1958 to meet the financial needs of Vandenberg Air Force Base.

“Commitment to our members in the Lompoc Valley, both current and future, will always be strong,” York said.

CoastHills corporate headquarters is now in Vandenberg Village.

“We built in the Village 12 years ago. We have 30,000 square feet here and it is full to the rafters. We have no place to go,” York said.

The credit union plans to sell the building it now occupies but will maintain a branch in the unincorporated area, which lies between the Air Force base and the city of Lompoc.

“We are going to sell this building. We are going to keep a presence in (Vandenberg) Village. We may lease back the branch section. We made a commitment to do that,” York said.

CoastHills plans to keep its branches on the Air Force base and in Lompoc, as well. Some support departments now located in satellite branches will be relocated to the new larger facility in Santa Maria when it is done.

The credit union may consolidate its current Santa Maria branches, too, once the new facility is built, York said.

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Logan B. Anderson covers city government in Santa Maria for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter: @LoganBAnderson.

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