Chase Bank Opens New Branch in Ventura Village
New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. is one of the titans of Wall Street. Among big banks in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase is the biggest.
But on Tuesday morning, the company opened up a new Chase Bank branch in what, at first glance, might seem like an unlikely location for the financial powerhouse. Chase’s newest Twin Cities branch is located at 1100 East Franklin Avenue in the Ventura Village neighborhood of south Minneapolis, a lower-income area of the city.
According to a statement from the company, the Franklin Avenue branch “will help provide access to opportunities for an underserved community rebuilding in the wake of protests related to the death of George Floyd and the economic challenges related to the pandemic.”
Chase Bank, the company’s consumer banking division, started opening up branches in the Twin Cities last year.
“When we first announced that we were coming to the Twin Cities, we committed to 30 percent of our branches being low and moderate-income neighborhoods,” said Jonathan Jensen, Chase’s market director of banking for the Twin Cities. “We really want to be the bank of choice for all communities.”
Jensen noted that the new branch is a “community center pilot concept” for Chase, only the second such location among Chase’s 4,900 U.S. branches.
“It’s the second of its kind in the company. The first one is in Harlem, New York,” said Jensen.
The bank will have a community room to host workshops, meetings and classes. Jensen said that the company hopes to offer weekly programming aimed at local businesses. He said that they also plan to work with community artists to display their work at the bank. The branch will also have a community manager, someone who will work with the community and local businesses.
Jensen said that much of the bank’s diverse staff is drawn from the community.
“We speak many different languages in this branch,” said Jensen of the bank’s staff. “It’s that very hyper-local approach that we try to take to really meet the needs of the community…they are the community.”
The building was previously home to Roger Beck Florist for 14 years until Beck closed the shop and sold his building in 2018. The property is now owned by the Minneapolis-based Rule Breaker Three LLC, according to Hennepin County property tax records.
Although Chase’s Commercial Bank and Private Bank have been doing business in Minnesota for more than 15 years, it had no retail bank presence in the metro until opening a branch at the University of Minnesota in July 2019. It has since added locations in St. Paul an St. Louis Park.
Chase has a goal of having 25 local branches by the end of 2023. The company will open up three more locations in the fourth quarter in downtown Minneapolis, Maple Grove and another location in St. Louis Park, which will give it seven local branches by the end of the year.
At the same time, JPMorgan Chase announced $1.75 million in philanthropic commitments which a heavy emphasis on helping local minority business owners. The contributions include:
- $500,000 to Prosperity Now to help nonprofit leaders of color in Minneapolis address racial economic inequality
- $400,000 to launch Ascend Twin Cities, which supports minority-led small businesses growth; partners include the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and the University of Minnesota
- $250,000 to three partners – the Minneapolis Foundation, Twin Cities Urban League, and the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) to address systemic racism and injustice, and address the impact of unrest following the killing of George Floyd
- $250,000 to MEDA to help minority-led small businesses impacted by the pandemic access capital and public assistance to weather the crisis
- $250,000 to Prepare and Prosper, to integrate credit-building products into financial coaching, housing, and workforce development services to improve the financial health of underserved communities and provide alternatives to predatory lending
- $100,000 to the Catalyst Coalition – NEON, African Development Center, African Economic Development Solutions, Latino Economic Development Center – to strengthen strategically aligned organizations led by communities of color serving communities of color