By CAITLIN CROWLEY
AN ALMOST 3000 square metre piece of prime Ruthven Street realestate in the heart of Toowoomba’s CBD will be the new home of Heritage Bank and People’s Choice in Queensland, with the freshly merged entity committed to maintaining a dual head office structure.
The old Shrine Catholic Church at 502 Ruthven Street will be demolished to make way for the six to seven storey office complex, with construction expected to start next year pending final designs and approvals.
Heritage CEO Peter Lock said after an exhaustive selection process the site was chosen as the “ideal location” for the multimillion dollar development.
“We’re excited to have secured this fantastic central site as the home for a stunning new head office and branch that will set the benchmark for office accommodation in Toowoomba,” Lock said.
“We looked long and hard to find the best site for our people and our members and we’re delighted with the benefits this location provides.
“It’s the right size, in a very central location, with three-street frontage and scope to create a welcoming, collaborative environment that our people will enjoy working in to support our members.”
The merger of Heritage Bank and Adelaide-based People’s Choice Credit Union became official on March 1, with the first combined Board meeting hosted in Toowoomba earlier this month before a cocktail event for local stakeholders (pictures below).
The merger created the largest mutual banking organisation in Australia, with more than $23 billion in assets, 1800 staff, 720,000 members and 95 banking outlets across the country.
Chairman Michael Cameron said the merged entity was committed to maintaining a dual head office structure, with one in Toowoomba and one in Adelaide.
“This project means a massive investment in Toowoomba and underlines our longstanding commitment to this city since our origins here in 1875,” Cameron said.
“Securing this site honours one of our merger commitments – to maintain dual head offices in Toowoomba and Adelaide – and gives us the opportunity to build similar high-quality facilities to those we have in Adelaide.
“Our investment in this exciting development underlines our commitment to our people and our members, and the confidence we have about our future as a strong, national alternative to the listed banks.”
Heritage intends to put its current Toowoomba head office at 400 Ruthven street up for sale.
The head office development is expected to be complete by 2027.