key bank to open new branch at steelyard commons

Key Bank will open a new branch in October at Steelyard Commons, adding another retailer to the pioneering Tremont shopping center that debuted in 2007.

The bank will open five new branches and create 30 new jobs in Northeast Ohio during the next 15 months. Key Bank, which is headquartered in downtown Cleveland, cites available real estate, lower costs of construction, and “market disruption” — the void left by banks that close or reduce services — as factors driving its expansion. The other four new branches will be in Concord, Lyndhurst, Eastlake and Middleburg Heights.

The new Steelyard branch, scheduled to open in October, has been announced at a time when many competitors have cut branch operations and encouraged customers to bank online. A handful of banks, including Huntington and Key, have bucked the industry trend by expanding hours or opening new branches.

The new branch will be built on one of the last parcels in Steelyard Commons Phase I, says Chris Goodrich, Vice President of Asset Management with First Interstate Properties, the company that owns Steelyard.

“Our retailers are very happy with sales [at Steelyard],” says Goodrich. “While the national retail climate has slowed in the last few years, the environment is changing again as things pick up — now I’m getting more calls from national retailers.”

The key to Steelyard’s success has been tapping into Cleveland’s underserved market, Goodrich says. He cites the fact that Steelyard required two to three years to reach four million vehicle trips per year, whereas Legacy Village took five years to get to the same level.

The new Key branch will be a stand-alone building whose design incorporates elements of Steelyard’s industrial heritage theme. The mall was built on the site of a former steel mill.

First Interstate hopes to start Phase II of Steelyard Commons, which will include an additional 200-250,000 square feet of retail, within the next few years.

1/27/11

www.freshwatercleveland.com/devnews

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