New office planned for State Employees’ Credit Union

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The State Employees’ Credit Union plans to build a new office in Washington, not far from the existing office on West 15th Street.

Plans submitted to the City of Washington call for the new facility to be located on Whispering Pines Road next to Care-O-World Enrichment Center. At its August meeting, the Washington Planning Board reviewed and approved the site plan for the new SECU office on 5.46 acres. The existing office opened in 1994.

The site plan shows the new office will be about 10,000 square feet. “The building plans for our … building are in the final design phase,” wrote Edward Hoffman Jr., SECU’s executive vice president for property management, in an email. “We anticipate that the building should start no later than the end of the first quarter of 2017.”

Because it is in the U.S. Highway 17 Bypass overlay zone, the new building must meet specific criteria related to design, building materials, building height, building orientation, signage and landscaping, according to John Rodman, the city’s director of community and cultural resources. “We had to make sure it met those requirements,” Rodman said.

The purpose of the interchange overlay district is to encourage managed, sensible interchange development by providing protective measures that promote safety, minimize the impact to the natural environment, and promote highway beautification, according to a city document. The district’s regulations apply to land within 3,000 feet of the bypass corridor.

As for what happens to the existing office when the new one opens, Rodman said, “We’ll have a good building available for another use.” He expects the existing building, once vacated, will be attractive to prospective developers or others looking for a site to locate a new business or relocated an existing business.

In a related matter, the Washington City Council set a public hearing on the proposed contiguous annexation of the proposed SECU office into the city limits for 6 p.m. Monday. That annexation, if approved, would provide the new office with city services such as water, sewer, sanitation and fire and police protection.

When the city receives an annexation petition, the City Council directs the city clerk to investigate the sufficiency of the petition. After making the investigation, the city clerk certifies the results to the City Council. After receiving the city clerk’s certificate, the City Council sets a date for a public hearing on the annexation request. Notice of the hearing must be published at least once in a newspaper at least 10 days before the scheduled hearing.



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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