'It's going to be a real gem'

Construction on the new Kitsap Credit Union headquarters could be seen on from the corner of Second and Washington. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Construction on the new Kitsap Credit Union headquarters could be seen on from the corner of Second and Washington.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Kitsap Credit Union employees, Opus Northwest, LLC, representatives and community members celebrated a milestone Tuesday — the last phase of construction of the credit union’s headquarters.

On schedule and on budget, the 55,000 square-foot structure is taking shape at the corner of Second Street and Washington Avenue. It is expected to be completed in July. The project is the first privately funded new construction in Bremerton as part of the city’s revitalization.

“It’s going to be a real gem,” said Kitsap Credit Union President Elliot Gregg during a Valentine’s Day luncheon at the Kitsap Conference Center.

Before the credit union laid claim to the corner, it had been a parking lot and a “kiss and cry” for ferry riders. Several years ago it had been home to a Firestone.

The Kitsap Credit Union began in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and it only seemed right to grow close to those roots, credit union officials said.

“It was the right thing for the credit union and allowed us to bring together people scattered all over the peninsula,” Gregg said.

“We were bound and determined this building would neither be battleship grey or shipyard yellow,” Gregg said.

The building’s sage green facade is made from pre-formed concrete slabs from Carnation. As the light changes, so too does the depth of the green. Its not-yet-completed rotunda will feature copper paneling said Mike Hlastala, project manager for Opus Northwest LLC.

He led tours through the construction site, pointing out features of the four-story structure. The site includes two levels of underground parking, about 80,000 square feet, for employees. A branch office and customer parking will be located at street level along with a small “kiss and cry” area. The second floor would be earmarked for expansion, but for now is expected to be leased out to other businesses. Credit union employees will occupy the third and fourth floors. While it was too early in the construction to see exactly which work areas would be where, the building offered panoramic views of Sinclair Inlet and the rest of the city, something the current Burwell Street office can’t do. The building also features a third floor deck for employee use.

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