St. Paul-based Sunrise Banks, one of the state’s largest community financial institutions, will break ground in early June on a 57,000-square-foot headquarters at 2515 Wabash Av., near Hwy. 280 and Interstate 94, a few miles west of its flagship bank and headquarters on University Avenue near the State Capitol.
The 200-employee company, which operates five offices in the Twin Cities, has headquarters employees spread across three locations and wants to consolidate holding-company activity at one location, said Rebecca Morris Hoeft, a senior vice president.
Hoeft was unable to provide estimated development and construction costs. She said Sunrise likely will sublease space to a nonprofit corporation and also will build a training room that it will rent to outsiders on an as-needed basis.
The new Sunrise headquarters will be part of the early transformation of a gray, old industrial area near the University of Minnesota and the St. Paul border into an “innovation district” in an industrial-residential neighborhood that dates to the late 1880s.
A giant railroad yard and idled grain silos dominate the scenery in a district near the Green Line light rail track that runs along University Avenue to downtown St. Paul.
CEO David Reiling, 49, a longtime banker, in 2013 acquired majority ownership of the bank holding company from founder Bill Reiling, his father, who got into the business through predecessor banks going back to 1984. Dave Reiling merged the former Franklin, Park Midway and University bank charters into a united Sunrise Banks in 2013.
The bank, which focuses on urban lending and community redevelopment, is considered a profitable innovator that also has devised an alternative to high-cost “payday lenders” with a lower-rate alternative product offered through a growing list of employers. That has gained national attention and could be one of the models that bank regulators make for big bankers after federal consumer regulators this summer unveil new payday loan guidelines. Those loans, considered predatory by critics, often lock desperate-to-ignorant working-poor consumers into high-rate, multiple loans where accrued interest often amounts to more than original principal.
Sunrise, with $906.7 million in assets, posted net income of $9.7 million in 2015.
Sunrise is one of 100 community banks nationally recognized by the Treasury Department as a specialist in spearheading urban renewal.
Former employees donated to commemorate Northwest
John Horn, Northwest Airlines president in the 1980s, and dozens of former NWA employees and others last week dedicated sculptures in an Edina park to commemorate longtime CEO Donald Nyrop and the thousands of men and women who worked for the carrier before it was acquired by Delta Air Lines several years ago.
Nyrop, who became CEO in the mid-1950s and died in 2010, established trans-Pacific service to Asia and ran a tight ship with a strong balance sheet. Nyrop and his successors, including CEO Steve Rothmeier, also deceased, built an airline that was known for safety and efficiency, if not model employee relations at all times. However, it was Nyrop who first took over the airline from a floundering CEO in the 1950s who wanted to move it to New York City. He stabilized the carrier and made it renowned for safety and financial strength.
Rothmeier and Horn continued that tradition, until NWA was taken over in a leveraged buyout in 1989.
Covering NWA always was interesting. And it’s missed as an important headquarters company.
More than 200 former Northwest employees contributed to commission the sculptures. They were welcomed at Centennial Lakes Park by Mayor Jim Hovland and other community members, as well as Nick Legeros, a local artist who created the sculptures.
Neal St. Anthony has been a Star Tribune business columnist and reporter since 1984. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.