Thursday, February 10, 2011

KeyBank crashes the ‘hood

On Monday, KeyBank will open the fourth bank branch to grace Madison Park, and the first new one to arrive here in several decades. Those hoping that the space vacated last year by Ropa Bella would be filled by small retail shops (or even a neighborhood sushi joint) will just have to suck it up and deal with the fact that the Village is becoming a little more financial hub and a little less boutique row.

As we reported when the deal was first announced, Key is ostensibly coming to the Park to be closer to its customer base, given that the closest Key branch is located on First Hill. But as we all know, Madison Park is also where the money is, and it’s generally not a bad idea for a bank to follow the money. So, at 9:00 am on Monday, Valentine’s Day, KeyBank will open its Madison Park doors for the first time, holding an all-day Open House featuring cookies from Madison Park Bakery, chocolates and salted caramels from Oh! Chocolate—and free cash for everyone.

We’re kidding about that last part.

KeyBank’s operation here is headed up by Manager Brooke O’Malley, a bright and eager six-year veteran of the Bank, who for the past three years has managed a KeyBank branch on Capitol Hill, where she resides. She’s a graduate of the UW and of Seattle U’s MBA program. In her new role she heads a staff of seven.

O’Malley claims to know the territory well, since her grandmother lives in Washington Park Tower and O’Malley has been coming down here for years, walking the neighborhood with her grandmother and visiting the shops. Since the announcement of her new job she’s made the rounds, and she tells us “the interaction I’ve had with people so far has been great.”

O’Malley reports that KeyBank has made a special effort to be sensitive to neighborhood concerns, beginning with mitigating the noise and unnecessary disruption related to construction of the branch. Additionally, she says, Key worked with the Madison Park Community Council to ensure that the Bank’s signs were compliant with neighborhood standards. And in order not to further impact the difficult parking situation on Madison Street, she says, the Bank has asked its employees to park further away from the Village.

KeyBank has also committed to being actively involved in the Madison Park Business Association and to providing financial support for neighborhood projects. Even before officially arriving in the Park, Key was a contributor to last summer’s successful Art Walk, sponsored by the Business Association. O’Malley says that the Bank will continue to look for ways to contribute to the community.

KeyBank is willing to contribute a bit of money to you, too, if you're willing to open a new account there. But since the Madison Park Blogger is a banker in real life, we're naturally reluctant to use this blog to shill for a competing bank. You'll therefore have to go into the branch for yourself to learn how to get that promised monetary reward. Do it before they run out.

[KeyBank’s Madison Park branch is located at 4105 E. Madison Street. Monday’s Open House continues until 5 pm.]

4 comments:

  1. As usual the Madison Park Community Council had its head up its bazooo if it agreed with KeyBank that more neon signs (Bright RED of course) fits with the aesthetics of the Park. Another Bank (houses of sleeze) opening in Mad Park, on Valentine's Day of all days, breaks my heart. Isn't there anything citizens can do to stop the decent of our community?

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  2. Where is HMP when we really need them?

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  3. The best sushi is in Madison Park, Nishino!!!

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  4. Brooke is a quality person.
    I have been helped so much by Brooke.
    It reminds me of the way banking used to be...which is to say she cares and will go way further than any other bank in the "hood" to help you.
    If you are not happy at your bank (and even if you are) consider going in and talking with her.
    Brooke is the best addition to Madison Park in a long time!

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