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BECU to open Gig Harbor location in 2024; Commencement Bank coming sooner

Posted on July 18th, 2023 By:

BECU plans to open a location in Gig Harbor in 2024, the credit union announced this month. Meanwhile, Tacoma-based Commencement Bank will open in a recently vacated spot in the Peninsula Shopping Center on Judson Street.

BECU’s plans

The credit union, which bills itself as Washington’s largest, plans to open in The Shops at Harbor Hill. That’s the Costco-anchored shopping center at the corner of Borgen Boulevard and Harbor Hill Drive. 

BECU representatives declined to provide a more specific location, saying only that the branch will encompass more than 5,000 square feet. A more specific opening date also was unavailable. 

A new BECU will be located in the shopping center near the corner of Borgen Boulevard and Harbor Hill Drive.

It will be the first BECU in Gig Harbor. The nearest locations currently are in Tacoma, University Place and Silverdale. The credit union reports more than 6,600 members in the Gig Harbor area. 

BECU is open to anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in Washington state. It reported nearly 1.4 million members in 2022. 

Bank branch closes following merger

Separately, the downtown Gig Harbor branch of Columbia Bank closed in May following its parent company’s merger with Umpqua Bank. 

The Columbia Bank branch in the beleaguered Peninsula Shopping Center on Judson Street closed May 26. Customers were directed to use the Umpqua Bank branch on Point Fosdick instead. 

The merger between the two regional banks closed March 1. Following the merger, the new Umpqua Bank operates more than 340 branches in Washington and six other Western states. 

The south end of the Peninsula Shopping Center is now completely vacant. Plans to redevelop the site, with a grocery store as anchor tenant, fell through in summer 2022. 

Former Columbia Bank customers can now use the Umpqua Bank location on Point Fosdick following the merger.

Commencement Bank

Commencement Bank plans to fill the former Columbia Bank space starting in August, according to a news release from the bank. It will be Commencement’s fifth branch, joining those in Tacoma, Enumclaw, Auburn and Olympia.

Allisha McVay will lead the branch following 19 years at the helm of Columbia’s Gig Harbor locations.

 “This (Gig Harbor) market has been at the top of our list for several years now,” Commencement CEO John E. Manolides said in the news release. “After listening to client feedback and considering the opportunities presented as a result of the Columbia/Umpqua merger, the only missing piece was finding a respected banker with deep roots in the community. I am pleased to say we found that banker in Allisha and we are excited to welcome her to our team.”

City officials meet with property owners

An item in a recent city of Gig Harbor newsletter noted that officials met recently with representatives of Peninsula Shopping Center “to determine what, if any, development is expected on those properties in the future.” 

The newsletter said that officials discussed “the public’s desire for a grocer and other amenities” as well as parking and housing. 

“Representatives stated they will meet with the city again soon to discuss zoning codes and design. … No formal proposal has been made to the city and the public will be noticed if this occurs.” 

The former Columbia Bank branch in the Peninsula Shopping Center on Judson Street is now vacant.