2013-10-11 / Front Page

Credit union plans to expand

By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH — A credit union that has had a long history in South Portland is looking to expand some of its operation offices into Scarborough.

Representatives for Town and Country Federal Credit Union appeared before the Scarborough Planning Board to get approval to construct a new operations center behind Hannaford Drive.

The new 40,399-square-foot facility would be located between Foley Farm Road and Little Dolphin Drive. The facility, once constructed, would serve as office space for the credit union’s lending, accounting, collecting and marketing offices, said CEO and president David Libby.

“This will be an additional office building and will have some of our operational support staff in it,” Libby said.

The credit union’s biggest branch and headquarters would still be located at 557 Main Street in South Portland. The Scarborough branch, located at 257 Route 1, would remain open.

Nancy St. Clair, a civil engineer with St. Clair Associates who is helping Town and Country through the permitting process, said the project would include two 20,000-square-foot buildings, a center atrium, an access road connecting Foley Farm Road and Little Dolphin Drive and a parking plan that would include 119 spaces.

The project would be constructed in two phases. Phase one would include one building, the atrium and 73 parking spaces. The second phase would include the rest of the project elements.

St. Clair said the hope is to obtain the proper permitting and start construction this fall for a spring move in. The second phase wouldn’t be constructed until 2018. The project is still awaiting permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Libby said finalized plans will be presented to the Planning Board Oct. 28.

Planning Board member Corey Fellows said his concern is guaranteeing the second building would get constructed.

“I haven’t heard anything to the contrary,” St. Clair said.

Board members had few concerns with the plan and applauded the architecture, which was designed by David Lloyd of Archetype Architects.

The buildings, Lloyd said, would be light gray clapboard, with white trim and a slate-colored asphalt shingle roof.

“The beauty of the building is, it is attractive from all sides,” he said.

While the design of the building gained approval, one abutter voiced his concerns about the amount of traffic the new development would generate.

“Our concern is we have a business close by. We want to have a better understanding on the impact to Hannaford Drive due to the development,” said Bill McKenney, of Hannaford.

According to the Town and County’s website, the credit union started in South Portland in 1953 when parishioners of the St. John the Evangelist church, a Catholic church at 611 Main St. that recently closed, created St. John’s Federal Credit Union to “serve the deposits and investment needs of Maine and its people.”

The credit union started in the basement of the church, then moved to the home of one of its leaders, then to a local ice cream parlor, before finally being located at its present facility, which was constructed in 1976.

The Town and Country name was adopted in 1986. Today Town and Country includes more than 25,000 members from all over York and Cumberland counties. Outside of its main office at 557 Main St., Town and County also has branch locations at 170 Ocean St. in South Portland, 426 Forest Ave. and 3 Auburn St. in Portland, 52 Elm St. in Saco and 257 Route 1 in Scarborough.

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