United Bank, a community lender based in Glastonbury, is relocating its administrative base and some 200 workers to downtown Hartford's Goodwin Square office tower before yearend, officials say.
Administrative staff for United and its parent, United Financial Bancorp Inc., including CEO William H.W. (Bill) Crawford IV and his aides, the bank announced late Tuesday, will begin the move in late spring or early summer from space at 45 Glastonbury Blvd. and 95 Glastonbury Blvd. – a combined 46,000 square feet -- into about 68,000 square feet of leased offices at Goodwin Square, 225 Asylum St.
Also, United says it plans to open a downtown branch, but did not say exactly where.
United, active in mortgage, consumer and commercial lending, said the impending move to four upper floors at Goodwin Square will allow the bank to consolidate various offices, generating more efficiency and cost savings. In addition, relocating to the city center, officials said, will allow the bank's commercial-banking and lending teams greater access to existing and potential customers.
Moreover, the bank said Glastonbury's tight office market hampered efforts to find large enough space suitable for its needs. United said it hired commercial property broker CBRE-New England to assist in its space search, which ultimately led it to downtown Hartford.
"Consolidating our administrative offices into Hartford provides a more cost effective and operationally efficient real estate solution,'' Crawford said in a statement. "It also positions our commercial banking teams in close proximity to the highest concentration of businesses and commercial and government deposits within the Hartford. … We see this as an opportunity to build upon our market share in Greater Hartford where we have the No. 4 deposit market share."
United's impending relocation, too, is just as significant for Hartford, at a time when the city is struggling financially yet undergoing something of a rebirth of its central business district.
The bank, too, acknowledged downtown's reawakening, pointing to UConn's scheduled opening this fall of its downtown campus, plus growing numbers of tenants moving into converted offices-to-apartments downtown.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin welcomed United.
"United Bank's announcement demonstrates that employers see the power and benefit of being in an urban center …'' Bronin said in a statement. "We believe in a strong and vibrant future for Hartford, and I look forward to working in partnership with United Bank as they make Hartford their new home for their administrative offices."
United Financial has $6.6 billion in assets and more than 700 employees.