Centra begins construction on new headquarters

Staff Reports

Centra Credit Union held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new $18.5 million corporate headquarters on Columbus’ west side.

The new 55,000-square-foot building is being constructed on the same site as the current headquarters at 3801 Tupelo Drive, company officials said.

The credit union plans to construct a three-story building on a 5-acre lot it owns next to its current headquarters.

The new headquarters, needed to accommodate the not-for-profit company’s growth and future needs, will allow consolidation of some back-office operations now conducted in offices Centra has around the city. It was originally founded as Cummins Employees Credit Union.

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop attended the groundbreaking, saying, “A building such as this is a significant, two-fold investment. It is not only a commitment of dollars, but a commitment to a community.”

Centra President and CEO Rick Silvers said that Centra has a strong history in Columbus.

“It’s very fitting our new headquarters will remain here in central Indiana where we were founded more than 78 years ago,” Silvers said.

Centra’s new headquarters building was designed by Columbus-based architect Ratio and is being constructed by Force Construction, also of Columbus.

The RATIO design chosen for Centra symbolically captures three key elements for the company, Silvers said. They are:

A strong foundation — Indiana limestone will be used for the main floor and partial basement.

Transparency — Windows all along the second and third floors will allow people to look into the headquarters and employees to view the outside.

Aspirational — Reflecting the company’s growth.

The project is expected to be completed in spring 2020 and will house about 160 employees.

The building project, which has been discussed for a few years, will provide Centra more space that it needs for employees, company officials said.

The current 25,000-square-foot Tupelo Drive building — of which 17,000 square feet is usable — has served as Centra’s headquarters since July 2013, housing about 60 employees. Previously, it had been the headquarters for Kiel Bros. Oil Co.

Centra has back-office support employees working at a leased location at 2625 Foxpointe Drive, Suite A, for deposit operations; an owned location at 70 Carr Hill Road, its mortgage center; and at some branches.

The credit union has not yet determined what it will do with its Carr Hill Road property when employees are moved from there to the new headquarters, Silvers said in an earlier interview.

None of the credit union’s five Columbus branches will close as a result of the changes, he said.

Eventually the current headquarters will be razed to create additional parking,

No incentives such as tax abatements are being sought from the city for expansion of its operations, company officials said. Centra paid 2017 property taxes of $35,835 this year for the current headquarters.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”About Centra Credit Union” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Charter granted: Oct. 31, 1940. Eight employees of Cummins Engine Co. founded Cummins Employees Federal Credit Union.

Name changed: to Centra Credit Union in 1995, to reflect company’s growth and diversity.

Headquarters: 3801 Tupelo Drive, Columbus

Members: 144,000

Assets: More than $1.4 billion

Employees: More than 350

Locations: 23 in Indiana, New York and North Carolina

Columbus branches:

2010 W. County Road 450S

2165 Jonathan Moore Pike

601 Union St.

1430 N. National Road

2020 26th St.