Chase Bank’s Journey from Wall Street to Ventura Village
Chase market director Jonathan Jensen, branch manager Hodan Ahmed, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and Chase head of market expansion Dan Deegan cut the ribbon on the bank’s Ventura Village branch. JPMorgan Chase

Chase Bank’s Journey from Wall Street to Ventura Village

The company is also awarding $4 million to a Family Housing Fund-led cooperative.

Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., is one of the biggest names on Wall Street. But on Monday Dimon was “in” Minneapolis, appearing virtually via Zoom to mark the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of Chase Bank’s Ventura Village branch, which opened in August.

The new Minneapolis location is only the second “community center” bank among Chase Bank’s more than 4,900 branches. The prototype project opened last year in Harlem.

Dimon’s brief remarks made it clear that Minneapolis was not randomly selected.

“It’s really fitting that we open what we call a community center close to where George Floyd was murdered because we do want to be part of the communities,” said Dimon.

The community center concept was developed under the leadership of Chase Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Duckett, who was also virtually present at Monday’s event.

“We’ve had our eye on the Twin Cities for years,” said Duckett. “Our plan is to open 25 new branches in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area over the next three years.”

Dimon talked about the community center concept as a new frontier for the financial giant.

“This is our second one. It’s a brilliant idea…about how we could not just be in the community and be a bank in the community but be a community builder,” said Dimon. “Being a community builder means it’s not just banking, but it’s affordable housing, it’s advice, it’s lending, it’s financial education, it’s even helping small businesses get to know each other in many different ways.”

At the same time, JPMorgan Chase leaders announced some other big news. Chase is awarding $4 million to a cooperative led by Minneapolis-based Family Housing Fund. The group of five nonprofits is one of just seven winners of this year’s AdvancingCities Challenge. Chase received more than 150 proposals in the competition this year.

According to a statement from Chase: “With the support from JPMorgan Chase, the collaborative will acquire, rehab, and develop two- to four-unit multi-family buildings to increase the affordable housing supply, launch innovative financing tools, including a new mortgage product, for first-time home buyers, and deploy a suite of training to first-time home buyers and landlords. These efforts will be concentrated in the seven ‘cultural districts’ that serve a majority Black, Latinx, immigrant, and indigenous population.”

The Family Housing Fund partnered with the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Land Bank Twin Cities Inc., Hope Community Inc. and Minnesota Home Ownership Center to form the cooperative.

“Overcoming our significant disparities will take intentional and collaborative action, including meaningful opportunities to build wealth,” said Ellen Sahli, president of the Family Housing Fund, in a statement. “Our strategy sets households on a path to both homeownership and generational wealth accumulation. We are tremendously grateful to JPMorgan Chase for believing in our vision and making this significant first investment in our approach.”

JPMorgan Chase previously made $1.75 million in philanthropic donations to Twin Cities organizations “to support local minority business owners and non-profits.”

During the event, Dimon also personally congratulated Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who was in attendance at the onsite event, on the arrival of his first child a few days ago.

“I wish I could be there in person,” said Dimon.