BY MAUREEN N. MARATITA
Coast360 Federal Credit Union’s newest member center is designed to meet client needs in more ways than one.
Its clients in the catchment area for its present Tamuning branch are largely commercial. Coast360’s building on Marine Corps Drive will not only offer them tailor-made business-friendly services, but expanded facilities to do business and discuss needs.
Gener F. Deliquina, CEO of Coast360, said the credit union is very excited at the prospect of the new member center and a larger one at that. “It’s long overdue.”
Tamuning has a well-established number of businesses, but Deliquina said that is growing. “We’re seeing the Harmon Industrial Park booming with small businesses.”
Coast360 is ready to assist established and start-up businesses, he said.
“We would like to help them thrive and meet their financial needs.” The credit union has competitive rates on financing, Deliquina said, as well as other services. “We offer great rates on deposits, compared to the market.” In addition, he said, Coast360 is a U.S. Small Business Administration Preferred Lender and offers merchant card services.
In the coming months, the credit union will launch a range of news business services, upgrade its online and mobile banking services, but already has a foreign exchange addition. “We just launched our international wire transfer services,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of businesses that have a need for that product. … We cover most countries.” One aim had been to find partners with reasonable fees, he said.
The new 16,800 square-foot building will be located on the lot on the corner of Marines Corps Drive and the North corner of Ilipog Drive, the road leading to Harmon Industrial Park, giving it two exits from the property — onto Marine Corps Drive to head north and into Ilipog Drive to turn south at the traffic lights. Landscaping will again be included at the property.
As to the look of the building, the design will remind customers of the Maite headquarters. “That is the one thing we strive for in this facility, and perhaps any future facilities down the road — branding. We want to ensure we maintain strong consistency.” … The headquarters “has gotten a lot of positive feed not only its design, but the flow of the members’ experience when they walk in here and transact,” Deliquina said. As with the headquarters building, he said, “We’re hoping to include that same durability.”
The footprint of the building is larger and will offer more parking, and drive-up lanes.
Michael B. Makio, managing principal at Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects was the principal architect for the Maite headquarters as well as for the Tumon design. “We want to have a bit of a thematic flow between the new facility and the headquarters,” he told the Journal.
More than a decade has passed since the opening of the 45,000 square-foot Maite building and Makio said the design will feature beneficial changes. “We are making several improvements in the Upper Tumon branch to improve its resilience, energy efficiency and a new material palette.”
Join Corp. was awarded the construction. Keith L. Farrell, project director of Join Corp.; said the building permit took a long time before it was awarded June 30. Join Corp.’s contract began July 1. “We’re full speed ahead now,” he said. The groundbreaking is scheduled for Sept. 17, with construction due to finish at the end of 2022
Farrell said the project will have several sub-contractors for mechanical, electrical and civil construction. The property will need to connect with water, sewer and permanent power lines in the area.
“It’s a wonderful property and reasonably flat,” he said as clearing and site preparation took place the week of Aug. 30.
Deliquina said the current budget for construction is about $9 million.
Farrell said Join Corp. will have a mixture of its own and other employees at the site. “The labor is of course always a concern. We have to manage that now.”
All contractors are facing the same challenges, he said. “The cost of materials has increased dramatically over the last year.” He said increases range from 40% to 100% for materials. However, Farrell said, “We always have to order ahead. We’re not anticipating any major supply chain issues.”
Coast360 is incorporating a number of customer conveniences into the building. For businesspeople who need out-of-hours services, the Tamuning property will offer 24-7 in-lobby access, with a secured in-wall drop box and two of Coast360’s upgraded ATMs, as will the drive-through.
Customers will be able to split deposits among accounts, deposit a mix of cash and checks, as well as use cash for loan payments, and cash checks. Machines will have anti-skimming protection. In addition, among financial services clients can select denominations for cash withdrawal, conduct account transfers and print statements.
The vestibule will be secure for members, Deliquina said. “You can only enter with your card and the door locks behind you.” Machines will have privacy shields and mirrors will also allow customers to view any activity to their rear.
The two-story building is designed for growth and will also offer a fully-equipped employee training site and a community room for groups that do not have a meeting place.
The new property will eventually add about 15 positions to the market.
The current location at the ITC intersection will close. Future plans include a facility in the south of the island. “We are talking about that now,” Deliquina said. The north of the island has also seen population growth, which Coast360 currently serves with a member center at the Dededo Mall, which he said is popular with consumer members. “We’re also looking at the North,” he said.
Deliquina said some of Coast360’s core values are epitomized by the new building process — all in the best interests of its members —the ability to be progressive and adapt, to be responsive to member needs and the pursuit of excellence.
As to the effect of the pandemic, Delinquina said, “The one thing we are certain about is that things have become uncertain. Our economy has become more uncertain than anything; it’s so volatile right now.”
Coast360 has not seen a flow of repossessions or loan defaults, he said. At the height of the pandemic, he said, “We granted over 5,000 loan deferments — anywhere from three months on loan payments to six, sometimes nine. To this day, I’m happy to report that 99% of those deferred loans have resumed their payments.” Coast360 has less than 10 active deferments, he said, all of whom are communicative, he said. “I think we served our members best interests, for the most part.” At the other end of the financial spectrum, Coast360 members have been conservative with spending. Across the financial services industry and across credit unions, Deliquina said, “There has been an exponential growth in total assets; this is primarily coming from member’s accounts – from stimulus, PUA.” Coast360’s total assets currently exceed $500 million, he said, due to the growth in deposits. With the end of PUA and an increase in travel, he said, “We’ll wait and see how these deposits behave.”
Coast360 reported gross revenues of $22.47 million in the Deloitte & Touche ASC Trust List of Top Companies in Micronesia in the November-December issue of Guam Business Magazine.
The institution has grown through the years, particularly since it expanded in 2009 with a community charter from its prior role as the Government of Guam Employees Federal Credit Union, and now has around 50,000 members, Deliquina said. mbj