Spokane Journal of Business

Farmers & Merchants plans branch

Third Avenue facility should be open by end of the year, other new sites also slated

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Spokane-based Farmers & Merchants Bank plans to open a new on the southern edge of downtown Spokane by the end of the year, says Ric Odegard, the banks executive vice president and chief operating officer.

A new branch, to be located in a former U.S. Bank branch building at 508 W. Third, will be the first of three new branches Farmers & Merchants hopes to open within the next 12 to 18 months as part of a plan to provide branch banking services throughout the Spokane market.

The new branch will offer a full line of banking services, including commercial lending. Odegard estimates the branch will initially employ three people. Farmers & Merchants finalized its leasing of the building last week.

Odegard says the approximately 3,000-square-foot building at the northwest corner of Third Avenue and Stevens Street is in good shape, but is scheduled to undergo a cosmetic renovation after permits are received. The makeover will include new tile flooring in the entryway and new carpet to carry out the color schemes found in other Farmers & Merchants branches. New casework will be installed in the row where tellers work.

The bank also is looking at moving the buildings main entrance from its current location facing Third Avenue around the corner to front on Stevens Street.

Farmers & Merchants has started the process of applying for permission from the Federal Reserve System to establish the new branch office. Odegard says before applying to state or federal agencies for permission to open another branch, the bank must advertise its intent. The first legal notice was published last week, opening a public comment period.

Odegard says federal decisions on such applications usually are made in about a month.

Farmers & Merchants also plans to open new branches at locations in the Five Mile Prairie area and the Sullivan Road corridor.

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