COMMUNITY CENTERPIECE - New First United Bank Building Designed for Positive ImpactSep 08, 2021
The construction of a new banking center is always cause for celebration in Moore. But even a casual review of the plans for First United’s project near the Warren Theater and Norman Regional Moore reveals a breathtaking commitment to the bank’s core philosophy of “Faith, Family, and Integrity.” Andy Sherrer is the Community Market President for First United Bank. He says there is a palpable level of excitement about what the new building will mean.
“It’s far more than a bank,” said Sherrer. “I think we realized that we had the opportunity here to do some significant for the Moore and the surrounding community with this project, and that shines in the plans.”
As Sherrer and his team move forward following the August groundbreaking celebration, he revealed more about the details of the new building and the opportunities it will offer the community. First United currently has three locations in the Moore area and 85 locations across Oklahoma and Texas, states with a total population of a little more than 30 million people. Sherrer believes that this new project will help First United take a big step toward the goal of positively impacting 10 million lives.
“First of all, this is a 50,000 square foot building,” said Sherrer. “That’s a huge presence by itself. But it also goes way beyond banking in terms of what it will offer the community.”
The building will be the home of a new retail banking center and offices for First United’s mortgage group, which provides more mortgages than any other bank in the state of Oklahoma. Unity Insurance Group will also office in the building, which offers clients the ability to access a wide variety of resources under a single roof.
The excitement over these plans includes the realization that it helps Moore take another step away from being a bedroom community where people who live here commute to other places in the OKC metro to work. The city now becomes a destination for a different level of jobs and a banking center with the capacity to impact the area outside of Moore. Sherrer says that none of that is incidental to First United’s plans.
“As an organization, we are very intentional about the way we seek to impact the community in positive ways,” said Sherrer. “Our philosophy as a faith-based organization is an important part of who we are and takes us well beyond banking. We also believe in health and wellness and are looking for ways to collaborate with Norman Regional Health Systems, which has a beautiful building a stone’s throw from ours. And then, of course, providing the kind of financial well-being for customers where they can come in not just for banking or loans, but to see a trusted advisor who has their best interest at heart.”
There’s one more aspect of the building’s design that excites Sherrer. It offers the community at large a gathering place that meets individual and group needs. Gensler architect’s building renderings reveal many warm and open spaces with natural light and areas for casual and formal meetings. It completely shatters the image of a stodgy bank and presents a welcoming atmosphere for the community.
“We wanted this building to be a place where anyone would be comfortable coming in, grabbing a cup of coffee, and doing some work or meet someone,” said Sherrer. “There’s a balcony area inside and an area outside where we hope to have food trucks and community events where people can gather together. It also makes for a better customer experience as well as a great work environment for our employees.”
While the impact of the pandemic has made it more difficult to predict precise construction timelines, Sherrer says the plans are for the new building to open in late 2022.
“It’s going to be a special place, and we’re thrilled to be building it here in Moore,” said Sherrer. “I think people understand that we’re making this investment because we’re going to be here for a long time and want to provide the greatest value possible for our community.”