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Another large bank — Wells Fargo — pulls in on Broadway

A not-very-well-kept but repeatedly unconfirmed Broadway business secret was revealed last week. Yes, there’s another big bank coming to the street. Wells Fargo’s new Capitol Hill branch is under construction in the Broadway Market shopping complex:

SEATTLE, Jan. 18, 2013 – Today Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced plans to open three new banking stores in the Puget Sound area, with an additional 15-20 new stores planned  over the next five years.   The additional locations are being opened in response to area growth.

The initial three new locations and estimated opening dates are below:

  • South Lake Union: 510 Terry Ave. North , 3,550 sq. ft., May
  • Capitol Hill: 401 Broadway Ave. East (Broadway Market), 2,500 sq. ft., June
  • Issaquah Highlands: Highlands Dr. NE & NE Federal Dr., 2,600 sq. ft., September

“The Puget Sound region continues to grow and we are excited to match that growth by adding additional banking operations,” said Patrick Yalung, Wells Fargo Washington region president.  “This expansion is an investment in our customers, team members and the entire Puget Sound community. We look forward to meeting the financial needs of our growing customer base and announcing new locations throughout the Puget Sound over the next five years as the details become finalized. ”

Wells Fargosays only the South Lake Union opening will bring the shuttering of another location (its 7th and Olive branch is getting the axe) and “the new banking stores are designed for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-certified and will feature “historic murals that are unique to each neighborhood’s history.”

The announcement comes on the heels of our recent report that Mountlake Terrace-based 1st Security is taking over the space that served as a temporary home for Bank of America while its new space in the Lyric apartment development was completed.

It is also part of an ongoing overhaul of the Broadway Market following a $14.7 million investment in the complex in early 2011. Smaller entities have exited the complex while another financial concern, BECU, expanded its presence. Meanwhile, the large second-floor restaurant space remains empty.

The spaces being occupied by the new Wells Fargo were once home to a Hot Topic, a florist and Broadway Shoe Repair — the latter is now making a home deeper within the complex. No record stores were displaced.

Broadway’s banks were relatively frequent targets of vandalism and protest during the height of Occupy and Occupy-inspired activity in Seattle. In the most significant case, five people accused of trespassing at the Broadway Chase outlet were found not guilty by a jury that agreed the group’s members “had carefully planned their effort and believed that they were on property that should be considered public.”

Like many large banks that survived the mortgage meltdown, Wells Fargo continues to log massive profits and has emerged as “the country’s largest home mortgage lender.”

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19 thoughts on “Another large bank — Wells Fargo — pulls in on Broadway

  1. The commercial space in this building and along Broadway is so expensive only banks or national chains can really afford it… sorry to say, but Broadway is a ‘has been’ location and your empty spaces are really worth $25-30 sq/ft/yr. at the most.

  2. This is great news, especially if they validate parking in the garage! This will make banking transactions much easier since the closet branch on the Hill is in Safeway up on 15th with only an ATM on Broadway. I am glad some of the empty retail space on the Hill is getting tenants.

  3. Actually, this is not true. All you must do is have a look along Broadway…yes, there are a few national businesses, but there are also many local ones in the mix, and they are in the majority.

  4. That’s pretty funny — saying that the rents on commercial spaces are too high, obviously due to high demand, and then saying that Broadway is a “has been” location. I had a good LOL on that one.

    Broadway Ave. is busier than ever and there are almost no empty spaces for any type of business. Maybe you should actually visit the area before making such ludicrous comments.

  5. The assortment of independent business in the Broadway Market has been steadily decreasing since even before QFC moved in. Sounds like the Shoe Repair business is going to be the last one standing.

  6. I’m actually glad that WF will have a storefront/bank on Broadway because I never feel comfortable using the ATM near the video store. I’ve heard so many horror tales regarding the placement of fraud devices on unattended ATMs during night-time hours that I always hesitate to use that one and it’s the only one in the neighborhood unless you want to go all of the way up the hill to Safeway.

    I DO hope that the shoe repair shop continues on because I have used this place for repairing all sorts of leather goods. Those guys are really tops.

  7. All I’m saying is take a look at commercial lease rates for Capitol Hill and compare it specifically to the QFC market rent rates. The Coffee Shop/Bubble Tea/Crepe place that had a little tiny 150sq space in the QFC Market was paying over 2,000 per month for that space. That is a huge price to pay for such a small footprint and in an area that isn’t as bustling as it was. Pike/Pine corridor doesn’t even charge the prices Broadway QFC Market does, and the small business/National Chain radio is way more in favor or the small businesses we all love to support.

    Broadway has more national chain locations than ever before, developers along that area are not small business friendly.


    Small business owner, resident and lover of Capitol Hill

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