Community First Guam Federal Credit Union held a groundbreaking for its new headquarters in Hagåtña on March 24.

Attending the groundbreaking were (from left) Ermon Aguilar, project manager, Architects Laguana LLC; Bobby Yung, vice president, Canton Construction Corp., Msgr. James L.G. Benavente, pastor for the Archdiocese of Agana; Karvin L. Flynn, board treasurer; Perry C. Taitano, chairman of the board; Gerard A. Cruz, president and CEO of Community First; Felice A. Meeks, board director; Elizabeth Cena, board director; and Mayor John A. Cruz of Hagåtña.
Photo by Justin Green

Canton Construction Corp. will build the $7 million headquarters, which was designed by Architects Laguana LLC.

The new Community First Building will be located alongside Route 4 in Hagåtña, between West O’Brien Drive and Chalan Santo Papa.

The new headquarters will replace the current building, which sits at ground level of the DNA building opposite.

The credit union has been leasing for more than 20 years. It purchased the 1,200-square-meter property from David J. Lujan on Jan. 31, 2019 for $500,000, according to Journal files.

“For the longest time we’ve been renters in Guam,” Gerard A. Cruz, president and CEO for Community First, told the Journal in 2019. “We’ve built a significant amount of equity for our members over the past 10 years since we’ve owned [the Tamuning branch] — we’ve almost doubled in actual value from the purchase value, so we want to cookie cut that experience for our headquarters.” (See “A first for the capital,” in the April 29, 2019 issue of the Journal.).

Community First was the first credit union established in Guam in 1962 for the purpose of serving civil servants out of the military and continued to grow until the Base Realignment and Closure occurred in the early 1990s, when the credit union was forced into receivership, according to Journal files. It was able to move back into privatization in 1995, processing through charter conversion from 1997 to 2000 when it moved from a solely military membership to community based, and the current management came on board. mbj