Oct. 9, 2020 (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal)
Ten months after purchasing the West Adams Street property formerly known as the Elkins Building, Community First Credit Union has opened its headquarters expansion in the LaVilla area.
About 75 employees, out of a headquarters staff of 180, will be moved to the renovated 32,300-foot-space on a 1.7 acre lot. The credit union’s main headquarters is on nearby North Lee Street, about six blocks away.
Repurposing an existing building made more economic sense for Community First than the cost of property and new construction, the company said when the purchase was announced. The building was listed for lease, but after assessing the property, the credit union decided to buy it.
“This property is an ideal location situated within blocks of the credit union’s current HQ,” Community First CEO John Hirabayashi said at the time. “We anticipate doubling our size in membership and assets during the next decade and this building should meet our future growth needs. Community First is using technology and increased efficiency in preparing for a future workforce.”
Hirabayashi said that it made more financial sense to buy the property, rather than lease it, because they would’ve reached the cost of buying within seven years of leasing.
TTV Architects designed the exterior and interior, and Community First spent about $2 million on the renovations, which were done by Auld & White Constructors of Jacksonville.
Community First is the second largest credit union on the First Coast. As of August, it had $1.9 billion in assets, an increase of 297% since 2002.