Local credit union details plan to open location in Downtown Press Building

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Banking in downtown Port Arthur is making a comeback.

Port Arthur Community Federal Credit Union is set to open a branch in the Press Building, 549 4th St., in the coming months.

For the banking institution, this is like coming home. Sabrina Miguez, CEO of Port Arthur Community FCU, said the credit union got its start in 1950 in the downtown area and spent a number of years operating out of the basement of City Hall.

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The business moved to a location on Twin City Highway, then built its current location on Central Mall Drive in 2007.

Miguez said the Press Building branch would have two full time employees as well as additional staffing. PAC CFU had looked at opening a branch at City Hall before COVID temporarily closed the building. Later she learned of the opportunity to be in the Press Building.

Port Arthur Community Federal Credit Union will open a branch inside the Press Building. (Courtesy photo)

Miguez has been working with Jana Barnes, business and community development manager for the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation, which heads up the building.

“We are bringing financial institutions back downtown,” Miguez said, adding both her and Barnes have made this statement. “(Downtown) is where we got our beginning and why we want to be first there.”

Once open, the credit union will offer an ATM, she said.

“I used to personally go to the county courthouse and try to get them as members as well,” Miguez said. “This will be great to be able to service them and everyone going to the buildings and to be a presence downtown.”

Barnes said there is a lot of interest for spots in the Press Building, and she has been in talks with local restaurateurs about opening a restaurant. Also co-working memberships should start soon.

Co-working membership can be utilized for people who work form home and want to work in a professional environment or are in need of an office for a day. The Press Building will be state-of-the-art with technology back up in the cloud and full Wi-Fi.

She said there is nothing like the co-working environment anywhere from Houston to New Orleans.

Pictured is the inside of the press Building, 549 4th St. (Courtesy photo)

“The thought, when doing our research, there were a lot of people downtown like attorneys or oil and gas executives in Houston for the day and would rent out a desk or office for the day to do their work,” she said.

That’s when the light bulb went off. Motiva was set for a big downtown project and she knew people would need these accommodations.

“We have a lot of people, former Port Arthur residents, who have contacted me over the past two years because they are waiting on the project to open. These people may come to town to take their elderly parents to the doctor and constantly call and ask if we are open,” she said.

Barnes is excited to see the credit union return to downtown and for it to be located in the Press Building. She’s also excited at what it signals.

With the construction of apartments and new homes in the downtown area, the addition of a credit union is vital to the residents and improves the quality of life, something the EDC looks to enhance, she said.

Jeff Ortiz, senior loan officer, said the credit union is celebrating 72 years in the community.

“It’s an amazing circle of coming back to where we started and to help the city that is building the economic engine to what it will be in the next 20-30 years. It’s an honor to be part of it,” Ortiz said.