RiverWood Bank receives approval to begin construction on new branch
BAXTER--The Baxter City Council approved RiverWood Bank's plan to build a new branch on the site of the iconic Bonanza Restaurant, giving the bank additional room to accommodate its growth.
BAXTER-The Baxter City Council approved RiverWood Bank's plan to build a new branch on the site of the iconic Bonanza Restaurant, giving the bank additional room to accommodate its growth.
The plan involves tearing down Bonanza in the next six weeks and breaking ground for the new 7,944 square-foot bank building about May 1. The new building is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
RiverWood's new building will give it room to add additional services and more employees. It will replace the branch that's on the west side of Highway 371 next to Buffalo Wild Wings. That branch, which is leased, currently has six employees but RiverWood Chairman Paul Means expects to add staff to support continued growth and to offer investment services.
Means attributed RiverWood's growth to a surge in business at the Baxter and Crosslake branches, both of which opened in 2004. Combined, the two branches have grown to more than $100 million in assets.
Local managers are Bruce Kennedy and Bart Taylor.
Among the highlights of the new facility are a large conference room that will be available for public use, and 1,200 square feet for Stonehouse Coffee and Roastery from Nisswa, which will lease that space for a coffee shop.
"We're really excited about this new facility, not only because it gives us significantly more room to grow and add new services but because the community will have access to some of the building's features," Means said in a news release. "Co-branding with a coffee shop is becoming a common feature for banks that have added new branches in recent years that has proven to be very successful. It creates a more vibrant atmosphere than a traditional bank environment. We expect it to be a fun place to do business."
Means said RiverWood Bank has been planning this project for many years and had the Bonanza site on a short list of desirable locations if it ever became available. The project was put on hold while the economy recovered but was revisited when Bonanza's ownership decided to sell the location last fall, after 36 years as a family restaurant and an important meeting space for local community groups. It was one of the first businesses on the Hwy 371 strip.
RiverWood Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Great River Holding Company, which was founded in 2003 and is a locally owned and managed community bank, with branches in nine communities in Minnesota. RiverWood has total assets of $335 million specializes in business, agricultural and mortgage lending, along with a wide variety of deposit-related services.