Columbia Bank will soon have a presence in the downtown district.
The Tacoma-based bank purchased the former Horizon Bank property at 211 E. Holly St., kitty-corner from the YMCA. Columbia Bank plans to establish its own branch in the building and is expected to be ready by the end of March, said Dennis Joines, the retail banking group manager for Columbia Bank.
Columbia Bank purchased the property for $1.25 million, according to documents recorded at the Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office.
Joines said Columbia was already interested in establishing a branch in downtown Bellingham when the building became available earlier this year.
“It’s one of the best corners in the downtown corridor,” Joines said.
Joines said the Holly Street branch will offer full-service consumer and commercial banking products and make the drive-through window available for customers.
Columbia Bank first entered the Whatcom County market three years ago, opening a branch at 115 W. Kellogg Road, near Whatcom Community College. Joines said the bank is reviewing its options about the future of the Kellogg Road branch.
“We haven’t come to a decision on that (Kellogg Road) branch,” Joines said.
The downtown building was operated for years by Horizon Bank before the bank was shut down by government regulators in January. Horizon was taken over by Washington Federal, which closed the Holly Street branch this past spring.
Once open, the downtown branch should have between nine and 11 employees, Joines said.