Friday, August 6, 2010

It’s official: Key Bank will arrive in 2011

Though the landlord was less than forthcoming on the subject (at least to us), Key Bank proudly confirmed this week that it’s all true: the Bank is coming to Madison Park. It has signed a long-term lease and will be moving into the first-floor spaces previously occupied by Ropa Bella and two other tenants at 4105 E. Madison Street. There will be a lot of remodeling necessary to accommodate the new “specially designed” 3,200 sq. ft. branch, meaning that the opening won’t occur until February of next year. The ETA is actually Valentine’s Day.

Well this is exciting. A fourth bank for the neighborhood. If anyone thinks that the Park is already a bit overbanked, it’s pretty clear that's not an assessment shared by Key Bank’s decision makers. This is what the Bank has to say about it in a press release that we and the Madison Park Times received on Wednesday: “Madison Park is a growing and thriving place to live, dine and shop—and we’re thrilled to be part of its future.” That’s the word, at least, from the Bank’s District Retail Leader, John Roehm, who adds that “Key looks forward to being a good neighbor in Madison Park.” This is potentially good news for the neighborhood, since the Bank points out in its announcement that last year it gave over $1.6 million in cash and in-kind services to various Washington communities. I expect that the local business association and community council, among others, will have some “good neighbor” philanthropic opportunities to discuss with Key’s new branch manager when he or she arrives.

So why does Madison Park rate so highly as the location for Key Bank’s 159th branch in Washington? After all, there’s already an easily-accessed First Hill Key Bank branch on Madison Street that doesn’t seem that far away. Do you suppose it’s simply that the Bank, in the words of the press release, is “investing in making banking easier by moving closer to where our customers live and work”? That’s an interesting statement, really, which leads to a logical question about where their branches usually are located. Apparently in places too far away from where their customers live or work. Anyway, I think what they’re driving at is a contrast to electronic banking. Building new branches is at variance with the idea that no one needs physical contact with a bank anymore. At most, an ATM machine. Key Bank disagrees.

Of course it could simply be that Madison Park is where the money is.

Our neighborhood, by the way, joins Anacortes, Kent, and the Maple Valley as target markets for Key’s branch-expansion program this year. Key Bank, based in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the smaller of the big national players, not quite on a par with San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, North Carolina-based Bank of America, or New York-based JP Morgan Chase. Locally, Key Bank has its roots in the old Puget Sound Bank and Seattle Trust & Savings, both gobbled up by Key years ago during a period when all of the major locals were taken over by the national banks (except for WaMu--and we know what finally happened there.)

I was pretty sure that the managers of our three already-in-place neighborhood banks would be anxious to weigh in on this momentous development in local banking. So I made the rounds yesterday to accost them and get their take on the situation. Their on-the-record responses ran the full gamut from “no comment” to “I am not authorized to speak to the media.” (Well, I guess that elevates Madison Park Blogger into the realm of media—even though it was only one banker’s opinion). But somehow I just didn’t feel that I was getting the complete picture of how they really feel about the new competition. I suspect they don’t like it much but just are too polite to say so.

Other Madison Parkers, however, have voiced concern about the new bank on the block. These include members of the community council—at least some of whom are still agitated about that “too-big-and-too-bright” Chase sign down the street. These good folks are hoping that Key Bank will be more respectful of “neighborhood standards.”

We shall see.

[I suppose this is as good a point as any for me to disclose (to those who have not already read my profile) that I myself am a banker, though not on the retail side of the business. I do not, however, work for any of the banks profiled in this posting.]


  1. Given all the positive possibilities for this space, most notably returning the lost bookstore, this news- having another representative of the lurid, suck-what-you-can from Main Street group- makes me want to throw up. I'd prefer empty space to match the decay across the street.

  2. Key Bank - recipient of $2.5B of TARP funds.

    Your tax dollars at work.

  3. If the people of the neighborhood do not want yet another bank they should not patronize this business.

  4. otr214425
    Work from home theory is fast gaining popularity because of the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. Since one is not bound by fixed working hours, they can schedule their work at the time when they feel most productive and convenient to them. Women & Men benefit a lot from this concept of work since they can balance their home and work perfectly. People mostly find that in this situation, their productivity is higher and stress levels lower. Those who like isolation and a tranquil work environment also tend to prefer this way of working. Today, with the kind of communication networks available, millions of people worldwide are considering this option.

    Women & Men who want to be independent but cannot afford to leave their responsibilities at home aside will benefit a lot from this concept of work. It makes it easier to maintain a healthy balance between home and work. The family doesn't get neglected and you can get your work done too. You can thus effectively juggle home responsibilities with your career. Working from home is definitely a viable option but it also needs a lot of hard work and discipline. You have to make a time schedule for yourself and stick to it. There will be a time frame of course for any job you take up and you have to fulfill that project within that time frame.

    There are many things that can be done working from home. A few of them is listed below that will give you a general idea about the benefits of this concept.

    This is the most common and highly preferred job that Women & Men like doing. Since in today's competitive world both the parents have to work they need a secure place to leave behind their children who will take care of them and parents can also relax without being worried all the time. In this job you don't require any degree or qualifications. You only have to know how to take care of children. Parents are happy to pay handsome salary and you can also earn a lot without putting too much of an effort.

    For those who have a garden or an open space at your disposal and are also interested in gardening can go for this method of earning money. If given proper time and efforts nursery business can flourish very well and you will earn handsomely. But just as all jobs establishing it will be a bit difficult but the end results are outstanding.

    Freelance can be in different wings. Either you can be a freelance reporter or a freelance photographer. You can also do designing or be in the advertising field doing project on your own. Being independent and working independently will depend on your field of work and the availability of its worth in the market. If you like doing jewellery designing you can do that at home totally independently. You can also work on freelancing as a marketing executive working from home. Wanna know more, email us on and we will send you information on how you can actually work as a marketing freelancer.

    Internet related work
    This is a very vast field and here sky is the limit. All you need is a computer and Internet facility. Whatever field you are into work at home is perfect match in the software field. You can match your time according to your convenience and complete whatever projects you get. To learn more about how to work from home, contact us today on workfromhome.otr214425@gmail.comand our team will get you started on some excellent work from home projects.

    Diet food
    Since now a days Women & Men are more conscious of the food that they eat hence they prefer to have homemade low cal food and if you can start supplying low cal food to various offices then it will be a very good source of income and not too much of efforts. You can hire a few ladies who will help you out and this can be a good business.

    Thus think over this concept and go ahead.