Zions Bank recently opened two new branches, in Meridian and in Twin Falls, to provide service as the cities grow.
“We’re hearing a lot from our customers that they’re not wanting to have to go to the other side of the city,” said Toni Nielsen, Western Idaho region president of the Salt Lake City-based bank. “A city like Meridian or Twin Falls is big enough that they need another location.”
The new Meridian branch is at the corner of Linder and Chinden, where there has been a great deal of retail and residential growth in the past couple of years.
“We picked that site because Meridian is the fastest-growing city in Idaho, and it’s an important market for Zions,” Nielsen said.
According to the last report the bank received from the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), the city’s population has already exceeded 100,000. “It seemed like time to have another location,” she said.
Meridian’s other Zions branch, which opened in 2008, is on Overland near Eagle Road in the Silverstone Plaza.
The new branch is considered to be in the other side of the city, she said. “We will be accessible to the whole city of Meridian, instead of one far side,” she said.
The new branch is 4,000 square feet and houses 10 employees – all new positions – who will be permanently located there, Nielsen said. It is designed to be a one-stop shop for both personal and business clients, with a business banker, a business payment and technology specialist and an executive banker with concierge services for more complex banking needs, she said.
The market in the area has a lot of professionals such as doctors, dentists and attorneys who could make use of such business banking services, Nielsen said.
In addition, the teller line has a feature to make it more accessible, Nielsen said. “If someone comes in in a wheelchair, the counter drops to a lower level to be convenient for them,” she said.
The branch includes three automatic teller machines (ATMs) – one in the drive-thru, the traditional walk-up and an additional one in the branch itself.
“We’ve found that sometimes customers come to a branch because of familiarity, but if they need a simple transaction, they don’t mind using the ATM,” Nielsen said.
The Meridian branch was designed by Cole Architects and built by Jordan Wilkins Construction, but the bank wouldn’t reveal the dollar amount of the construction, Nielsen said.
Twin Falls branch
This summer, the bank opened a second branch in Twin Falls for a similar reason, Nielsen said. While the existing branch was located in the main Blue Lakes Boulevard area, the new branch is in Eastland, about 7 miles away.
“We acquired a highly visible corner,” she said.
The new branch is about 2,000 square feet with eight employees, Nielsen said.
For the Twin Falls branch, which was a remodel, the general contractor was Layton Anderson with Stag Construction.
Zions isn’t alone. In response to the state’s growth, a number of Idaho financial institutions have added new branches this year.
The Bank of Idaho, based in Idaho Falls, added new branches in downtown Boise, downtown Nampa and west Boise this year.
Sunwest Bank, based in Irvine, California, moved its back office functionality to Idaho earlier this year and is looking for locations for branches in Boise and Meridian.
National residential mortgage lender PrimeLending opened a branch in Sandpoint to serve North Idaho and Spokane.
STCU also opened a new branch in Sandpoint and plans to open a new branch in Rathdrum early next year.-