A Lehigh Valley credit union continues to grow with the opening of a new branch in downtown Allentown.
People First Federal Credit Union, which offers a wide range of personal and business banking products and services in the greater Lehigh Valley, held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its new Solutions Center at 26 N. Sixth St.
The center, located at Sixth Street and ArtsWalk on the ground floor of City Center Investment Corp.’s Strata East apartment complex, is staffed with specialists to meet all financial and wellness needs.
The opening of the eighth branch of the credit union in Lehigh Valley follows the move of its headquarters last year to downtown Five at Eighth and Hamilton streets in downtown Allentown. About 90 employees moved to nearly 25,000 square feet on the third floor of the 13-story building, which City Center opened in 2019.
People First’s former head office on Downyflake Lane in Allentown continues to operate as a branch.
“We strive to make our diverse line of banking and lending products as accessible to the community as possible, and we are very proud to add this location to our growing list of hotspots,” said Howard Meller, CEO of People First, in a press release.
Downtown Allentown, designed to provide a modern approach to financial services, is staffed by four professionals under the leadership of Marc Knox, who has served the financial needs of the community for over 15 years.
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“As relationship-based financial institutions, we are committed to helping the Allentown community find the right banking solutions that support their unique goals,” Meller said. “As well as providing cutting-edge banking products and technology comparable to any major bank, our core strengths lie in personal attention, competitive pricing, local decision-making and exceptional service.”
“City Center is thrilled to welcome the People First Federal Credit Union branch to the ground floor of our Strata East apartment community,” added Jill Wheeler, Vice President of Sales and Leasing for City Center. “People First has already proven its desire to be a downtown community leader by moving its headquarters to the Five City Center and funding local Real Estate Lab graduates. Their branch on ArtsWalk further reinforces their commitment to downtown Allentown.
People First is the largest credit union in Lehigh Valley with over 72,000 customers. Originally chartered to serve Mack Trucks employees, it has total assets of nearly $900 million.
The groundbreaking ceremony included the unveiling of the first winning artwork of a mural arts competition. The contest was open to all residents of Lehigh Valley with the goal of recognizing and encouraging artistic talent in the area. Submissions were reviewed by a committee comprised of the People First Board of Directors and members of Allentown Mural Arts and the Allentown Arts Commission.
The winner, Sarah Karess, is a graphic designer and artist from Allentown who is actively involved in the arts community. Karess’ concept for the People First mural was inspired by the feather paper art created by her mother. The macro photography of paper sunflower petals represents the importance of each member within our community. His goal was to show our community the combined potential and beauty that we can create together.
The winning work will be exhibited for one year in the People First showcases. To celebrate the opening, People First made a donation to Allentown Mural Arts.
The center is open 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. An outdoor ATM is available 24/7.