By Erin Bruehl
Independence Community Bank has continued its expansion in the metropolitan area in recent weeks, with the openings of two new branches in Tribeca and the City Hall area.
Michael Raimonde, senior vice president of Independences consumer banking division, says there is a lot of potential.
Weve gone on an extensive expansion in Manhattan, he said. We feel there are a lot of opportunities in Manhattan as a whole, and especially Downtown. We look for sites that mix retail, personal, professional and we felt that this [City Hall branch] was a good mix.
The City Hall branch, at 336 Broadway, officially opened on Dec. 22 and the Tribeca branch, at 110 Hudson St., on Nov. 17. And while the two branches may be geographically close, Raimonde says the customers they serve are very different.
Although they seem close, the two locations are very different in makeup, he said. The market for the City Hall branch is a large percentage of attorneys and government officials. Whereas in Tribeca, there are a lot of small business owners and residential consumers.
Joseph Paradise, manager of the City Hall branch, says while businesses are a target, they are reaching out to everyone in the community.
Were trying to get into the business place, the attorney, the accountant but Independence prides itself on customer service, he said. Weve been open a week and the diversity in clients is amazing, including existing clients that have congregated down here. Whoever is down here, we are looking to serve, he added.
Established in Brooklyn in 1850, Independence Community Bank, has assets over $8 billion. It focuses on multi-family, mixed-use commercial real estate, commercial businesses, and targets small and mid-size businesses with annual sales of up to $50 million, as well as individual consumers.
Independence Bank has over 80 branches total in both New York and New Jersey; however, there are only seven branches to date open in Manhattan.
The bank became a publicly traded corporation in 1998 and created the Independence Community Foundation, a $60-million private, non-profit foundation that helps with neighborhood projects.
Raimonde says this tradition of helping communities will continue in Lower Manhattan.
We always get involved in the community activities, he said. We will get involved with the local activities as they occur. As the new business in the area, well reach out to local organizations.