Union Bank has rebuilt and reopened a La Mesa branch office that was burned down during May 2020 rioting.
Union Bank has been in La Mesa since 1926 and Carlton Hill, regional manager of Union Bank, said “there was no doubt” that the branch would be rebuilt.
“From day one, the intention was to come back,” Hill said. “We are excited to be back in the community.”
After the old building was destroyed, La Mesa branch customers were diverted to Union Bank branches on Lake Murray Boulevard in San Carlos, at Federal Boulevard and Euclid Avenue in San Diego, in Casa de Oro in Spring Valley and in Lemon Grove.
In January 2021, the La Mesa branch began had been operating from a temporary structure with an ATM.
The new 4,500-square-foot branch building that replaced the 6,719-square-foot building that opened in 1996 is on the same site at 4771 Spring Street.
“We really thought long and hard about our community, our presence in the community. We thought about how we were going to build this building to make sure it was about the community,” Hill said. “We wanted to make sure it was a beautiful and comfortable place.”
A Bright Space
Union Bank declined to disclose how much it spent to build the new branch or how many customers it serves.
Banking has changed dramatically since the old branch was built, and the new building was designed to accommodate those changes, Hill said.
Ware Malcomb was the architect for the exterior and LK Design Group designed the interior. BCCI was the general contractor.
“It’s definitely an iteration of a modern bank,” Hill said. “It’s not your old stuffy bank of decades ago.”
For starters, the new branch building used recycled material wherever possible in its construction and drought tolerant landscaping.
“We really wanted to make sure it was something that was built with sustainability in mind,” Hill said.
Expansive windows that are nearly floor to ceiling form much of the exterior of the building to let in sunlight and brighten the lobby and lend an open air to the bank.
“There is a lot of glass here. There is a lot of light that is coming into the bank. That is the intention, to create a very bright space,” Hill said.
In a nod to technology, the 2,018-square-foot lobby has a small business hub with space for clients to wirelessly charge their mobile devices or plug in their laptops.
“It’s a very comfortable space,” Hill said. “We know people now do a lot of things online. We know they do a lot of things on their laptops and their phones.”
The lobby also has an expanded hospitality bar where customers can grab a fresh cup of coffee or a cold beverage, and cookies and other treats.
“It’s definitely a comfortable environment for our clients and the community,” Hill said.
Four teller stations, one of which is handicapped accessible, are a focal point of the lobby, set behind what the bank described as a clear “bandit barrier” of bullet proof glass and digital display boards.
The new building has two-walk up ATM windows. The old building had one walk-up ATM, one drive-through ATM, and drive-through teller windows. There are 20 parking spaces where the old building had 26.
Headquarters: New York
CEO: Andy Cecere
Employees: 70,000 +
Contact: 1-800-238-4486 personal banking; 1-877-671-6877 small business
Notable: As of Dec. 1, 2022, Union Bank is part of U.S. Bank