Brewer News

Brewer’s new Machias Savings Bank opens Monday

3.28.2012 – Machias Savings Bank has designed its newest building to align with the times and how businesses and individual customers do banking nowadays, bank officials said.

The new Wilson Street location is the bank’s 14th branch.

The line of tellers all situated in a row behind a security wall with their individual bank drawers has been replaced with financial services specialists at island stations “equipped with teller ATMs,” Ken White, Machias Savings Bank vice president and Brewer branch manager, said while giving a tour Wednesday. “With online banking, we had to adjust what we have and what we do.”

The financial services specialists will be able to do more than just cash or deposit checks, he said, adding they also will be able to set up and help clients with accounts.

“The Brewer facility is much more than a branch,” Larry Barker, Machias Savings Bank president, said Wednesday during a phone interview from the Machias headquarters. “It’s going to be home for our business service division,” providing access to bankers and other business resources.

The lobby of the city’s newest bank looks more like a high-end hotel lobby, with inviting lounge chairs decorated in warm colors, a single-cup coffee machine, a children’s area equipped with a large-screen TV and video game console, and large decorative pots filled with the branches of birch trees.

“Prepare to be amazed,” D’arcy Main-Boyington, Brewer’s economic development director, said Wednesday. “I think it’s a beautiful building.”

The 12,000-square-foot building, built by local general contractor John Hayward, was constructed to be energy efficient with sprayed closed-cell foam insulation, energy-efficient lighting with occupancy sensors, outside LED lights, a natural gas heating system and solar panels on the roof.

“We partnered with ReVison Energy to install a 10-kilowatt solar photovoltaic roof-mounted array,” Barker said. “These solar panels produce electricity that we will use before purchasing electricity.”

The bank also partnered with Efficiency Maine when purchasing the lighting supplies.

“With energy prices [high], we really wanted to be as efficient as we could be,” the bank president said.

The lobby also features safe deposit boxes that customers gain access to by using a hand scanner, a coin-counting machine, and a large community room upstairs that organizations and clubs can use at no cost day or night.

The Machias Savings Bank branch in Bar Harbor, built three years ago, also has a community room and after having such a good experience there, it made sense to add one to the Brewer branch, White said.

Brewer’s community room has video conference capability, three large-screen TVs, movable furniture, and can be accessed at night when the bank is closed, he said.

The bank’s drive-through will be open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The only other local Machias Savings Bank, located in Bangor, is not open on Saturdays, Barker said.

The reason for the diversion from a typical bank design is simple, Jim Donnelly, Machias Savings Bank executive vice president, said Wednesday.

“The old standard was to get everybody in and out as fast as possible,” he said.

The new concept is to get to know customers so the bank can ensure all their financial needs are met, he said.

“Our vision is to provide the most exceptional banking experience in Maine,” Barker said. “We don’t want to be just another average bank. When you walk through our doors, we want you to feel the difference.”

A copyright story from the Bangor Daily News by Nok-Noi Ricker, Posted March 28, 2012, at 7:33 p.m.