Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has received final approval from Waterford officials to build a nearly 65,000-square-foot branch and headquarters complex on Route 85 that will accommodate its future growth, consolidate its administrative functions into one central location and create a new community room for use by the region’s nonprofit and civic groups.
“This project is truly a vote of confidence in eastern Connecticut’s economy,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s Chief Executive Officer. “It’s also a reflection of Charter Oak’s strong financial position and our continuing expansion,” he said.
Groundbreaking will take place this fall with completion of the building expected late next year.
The four-story complex at 1055 Hartford Turnpike will be located at the intersection of Industrial Drive and Route 85 – a prime parcel giving Charter Oak high visibility at two of the region’s busiest thoroughfares: Route 85 and nearby Interstate 395. It will house Charter Oak’s newest branch office, along with headquarters offices and the community room.
“Charter Oak has been a community-focused financial institution since its founding in 1939 as the Groton Shipbuilders Federal Credit Union,” said Orenstein. Charter Oak’s community giving is extensive, ranging from grants and partnerships to community outreach and financial literacy. This past year, Charter Oak and its employees donated $234,000 to over 200 community groups, and its employees donated over 1,400 hours at nearly 200 community events.
Dan Steward, First Selectman of Waterford, said he is “very excited to have the new headquarters for Charter Oak Federal Credit Union built in our town.” Steward said Charter Oak has been “a good and celebrated neighbor to all in our area. The provision of a community room for other civic organizations to share is an excellent feature.”
“We welcome the new facilities and its staff to their new home,” he added.
Charter Oak’s new headquarters was designed by Point One Architects of Old Lyme, and CLA Engineers, Inc. of Norwich will provide engineering services. Enterprise Builders, Inc. of Newington will serve as the general contractor. “We’re proud of our deep roots in eastern Connecticut,” said Orenstein. “And now we’re giving back by using as many local subcontractors, architects and others as we can to build a headquarters site that represents Charter Oak’s strong future in eastern Connecticut.”
When completed, Charter Oak’s headquarters will combine all its administrative functions under one roof, offering greater efficiency for the credit union. Currently, its lending operations are in Waterford, its finance and IT operations are in Groton, and its security and fraud operations are in Niantic.
Charter Oak’s current headquarters in Groton at 32 Chicago Avenue will continue as a branch location and its second floor – now housing headquarters staff – will be renovated for possible leasing opportunities. Charter Oak’s newly renovated branch on Long Hill Road in Groton will remain open as well. “We’ve simply outgrown our Groton headquarters,” said Orenstein. When Charter Oak moved into the Chicago Avenue site in 1974, the credit union had assets of $25 million. Today, it has 12 branches and serves both New London and Windham counties with a membership approximating 70,000. The credit union reported record earnings of $8.4 million in 2011.
Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Groton, Connecticut, offers a broad range of financial services – including checking, deposit, lending, insurance and investments – to individuals, businesses, nonprofits and professionals in New London and Windham counties. If you live, work, worship, attend school, or volunteer in New London and Windham counties, we invite you to do business with us. For more information about what Charter Oak can offer you, please visit www.CharterOak.org.