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Published: Wednesday, 4/19/2006

Credit union eyed in area of Dorr-Detroit

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Officials with the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union said they hope an investment of nearly $1 million in a new building on Dorr Street and North Detroit Avenue will help bring new businesses and life into the area.

The credit union announced an agreement with the Covenant Community Development Corporation to purchase the site of an old service station and develop it into a free-standing building.

The credit union also announced its kickoff campaign that seeks to raise the $800,000 that is needed for the project.

The credit union is the last in Ohio designated as a community development credit union, which means 51 percent of the nonprofit institution s clientele must be low or moderate-income residents.

A lot of our customers claim us as their credit union, said Suzette Cowell, the institution s chief executive officer.

Many of the people who come here walk. I think what this represents is stability. We re part of the neighborhood and we re not going anywhere.

The credit union is now a block away from the planned site in a shopping strip at 1339 Dorr St. Ms. Cowell said that with the fund-raising effort, she hopes to make the neighborhood feel a part of the effort. Services will include a drive-thru window and automatic teller service.

Ms.Cowell said the new building will provide expanded services for existing and future members. She said the new building she hopes is not only a financial institution but one of the anchors for future development along the Dorr Street and Detroit Avenue area.

I think it s the beginning of things to come, said Ms. Cowell, citing other developments in the vicinity that includes a new townhouse and other businesses.

The Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in July. We have taken pride over the past decade in providing economic development to our community.

Board member Robert Kaplan, who is helping to raise funds for the effort, said the credit union has done its job in filling the gap for low and moderate-income bankers.

I ve talked with people who said they received help there where they couldn t anywhere else, said Mr. Kaplan, who has been on the board for five years. I would be willing to continue to serve on the board and do whatever it takes to help.

Contact Clyde Hughes at: chughes@theblade.comor 419-724-6095.



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