Michael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, hosted an afternoon groundbreaking on Friday to commemorate the start of a one-year renovation planned for Centier’s Crown Point Downtown office, located at 117 East Joliet Street.
Crown Point Mayor David Uran, and numerous city and bank employees, joined Schrage who gathered in the Centier courtyard adjacent to the branch. “This June marks 30 years that we have been in the Crown Point community,” stated Schrage. “We always want to be a large part of the downtown area.”
“The demolition and reconstruction of the Crown Point location will take place in two phases over the next year,” stated Carol Highsmith, Centier Bank Senior Partner and Project Manager. “We will reconstruct the branch from the ground up with minimal disruption to our day to day business,” stated Highsmith, who added that the branch will remain open for business during the renovation process. In addition, the drive-thru and drive-up ATM, located across the street, will be open for business as usual.
The Crown Point Downtown branch main floor dates back to 1917. Over the years, the building has been home to a furniture store, Sears store, and in the 1970’s became home to the First National Bank of Crown Point. Centier acquired the building when it purchased First National Bank of Crown Point in 1982. Since then, the building and its adjacent offices have been used for numerous support offices for the bank. “When Centier opened its corporate headquarters in Merrillville in 2008, many of our support offices moved out of the Crown Point location,” stated Highsmith. “We decided that the space would be better utilized by our clients if we were to remodel the branch. Upon looking at all that needed to be done, it was most beneficial for us to tear it down and start from scratch.”
The general contractor in charge of renovating the completed 5,200 square foot branch is Thomas D. Combs & Sons. In addition to personal banking services, the lobby will host investment offices, safe deposit boxes, and retail special services. The new site plan will include additional
parking off of Hack Court, a ground level water feature, and an outdoor green space area. “We have a small courtyard on the west side of our current building that has been enjoyed by the community for decades,” stated Highsmith. “We will rejuvenate this space for our clients and add additional seating and gardens on the property.”
Centier Bank has been named “Best Bank for Business” for the past ten years by the Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly publication and was listed on the Indiana Chamber’s “Best Places to Work” top ten list for the past six years. Most recently, Centier topped the list of SBA lenders in Northern Indiana and was named “Bank of the Year” by the Regional Development Company. The Indiana SBA also recognized Centier Bank as “3rd Party Lender of the Year” for closing the most SBA 504 loans in the state.
The bank scheduled the groundbreaking for renovations this week in celebration of the bank’s 117th anniversary on Saturday, April 21st. Originally named the Bank of Whiting, Centier Bank has been owned and operated by the Schrage family since 1895. Centier continues a legacy that is committed to the principals of hometown banking, while offering clients the convenience and services associated with the modern amenities of business.
Managed by four generations of visionary business bankers, the Schrage family has established a company that has become a rarity in today’s market: Independently owned and operated. Centier has remained true to its promise that it is “Not For Sale”. It is this “Not For Sale” promise that allows associates and clients to take comfort in a corporate culture that affirms the traditions of yesterday and the legacy of tomorrow. entier currently has 45 retail banking locationsin Lake, Porter, La Porte, Marshall, and Tippecanoe Counties.