First National Bank of Omaha announced this week that it would relocate its operations from 152 E. Sixth St. to its buildings across Main Street after renovations take place.
The adjacent buildings at 610 and 626 N. Main St. will house all of its employees of its branch banking, mortgage, wealth management and commercial banking groups, as well as its affiliated insurance agency, FNIC.
“It’s just going to be really nice for us all to be in one space and be able to collaborate together for our customers,” Director of Community Banking Matt Mueller said.
Mueller said talks on the renovation first began three to five years ago when the bank began discussing how it could best serve its customers in Fremont.
Several years ago, the wealth building on Main Street allowed customers to walk through its drive-thru, a service that was later shut down due to security reasons.
“Our customers then were inconvenienced at that point and their walk-up traffic would have to now come through our main bank facility here across the street,” Mueller said. “So ever since that had happened, we’ve been looking for a way to basically make it become one teller line where everything is all together.”
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After throwing ideas around, Mueller said the bank decided to renovate the wealth building to give it a walk-in teller line and have all of its retail traffic run through the building.
“It just makes more sense instead of splitting up the two teller lines and having one be a walk-in and one a drive-thru,” he said. “We’re managing two different sections as well, plus it’s a little confusing for customers.”
But during the planning process, Mueller said the COVID-19 pandemic hit, resulting in many employees working from home.
“The great thing about FNBO is that they’ve invested a lot in technology that enabled a lot of our employees to continue working the same jobs they’ve been working from their house,” he said. “So with that, they haven’t come back from working at home, and with that, we’re not needing as much space.”
As a result, Mueller said FNBO then decided to put all of its services into the wealth building.
“It’s going to be a one-stop shop for everybody, we’ll all be in one space,” he said. “So that’s kind of where that idea came from, and really, the holistic financial approach for our customers, for us all being in that one space.”
Mueller said the renovation would start this year, with progress being determined by how soon materials can come in.
“We’re earmarking that third quarter, but obviously if we get done before that, we’re going to be done before that, we’re going to move in there,” he said. “So we’re probably looking sometime in mid-to-late summer as kind of that timeframe.”
Following the renovation, FNBO will vacate its banking location on Sixth Street before selling the building. Its location at 801 E. 23rd St. will also remain open.
Along with other employees, Mueller said he’s excited for renovations and the “wow” factor it will give customers.
“The way that our building is set up now, we’re kind of all in different sections and pieces,” he said. “And so when we are talking to our customers, sometimes we’re in back hallways and we can’t hear what’s going on.”
Ultimately, Mueller said he feels privileged to have FNBO put such a major investment into the Fremont community.
“It’s just going to be a great experience for all of us here as employees to get to work together under one roof,” he said, “and for our customers to walk in and really experience a holistic approach to their financial well-being.”