A St. Cloud-based credit union hopes to call Big Lake home.

Great River Federal Credit Union has submitted plans to build a branch office south of Highway 10 at County Road 43, adjacent to the Big Lake Area Veterinary Hospital.

Vanman Architects & Builders has submitted a zoning and land use plan to the City of Big Lake that would allow for the construction of a 2,880 square-foot building on 2.13 acres that would house a new branch office of Great River Federal Credit Union. The credit union has its main office at 1532 W. St. Germain Street in downtown St. Cloud and branch offices in Sauk Rapids, Waite Park and Sartell.

The Big Lake Planning Commission held a public hearing on May 6 to address zoning changes, as well as the preliminary plat and site plan for the proposed credit union building.

The planning commission heard a request to rezone the property from agriculture to B-3, which is a general business designation. The lot was annexed into the city of Big Lake in September of 2019.

The developer states that the building would house a lobby with areas for tellers. The building would have two video conferencing rooms, an office and a multi-purpose room for community use. Plans call for a employee break ropom and call center, as well. 

Outside the building, plans call for two drive-thru interactive teller machines. There are 19 parking spaces proposed for the property. There would be two entrances to the credit union from 198th Street. There will be no access to the business from Highway 10.

The development plans show a sidewalk on the property. However, city staff has recommended moving the sidewalk so it connects to the existing sidewalks at the intersection of County Road 43 and Humbolt Avenue.

City staff supported the zoning change from Ag to B-3, as well as the approval of the preliminary plat with the condition that plans are redrawn to reflect the rerouting of the sidewalk to connect with the city’s existing sidewalk system. Staff also recommends Great River install a pedestrian ramp at the corner of the property and paint the crosswalk.

Plans call for the building to have a stone and wood facade with glass and metal accents.

The Great River Federal Credit Union is the second new credit union looking to call Big Lake home.

Minnco Credit Union is planning to open by June 1 at 613 Rose Drive, which is adjacent to the Big Lake Post Office.

Reach Jeff Hage at jeff.hage@ecm-inc.com


Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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