Union County Savings builds a better bank to help build a better Elizabeth

The historic building at 61 Broad St. was purchased from St. John’s Episcopal Church, which traces its history in Elizabeth to 1706.

January 24, 2023 – The historic building that served as Union County Savings Bank’s first headquarters is the latest in a series of investments the bank is making in the city of Elizabeth.

The $1 million update to 61 Broad St. began in earnest months ago, when the roof was replaced, new technology was installed and the heating, ventilation and cooling system was updated, says Chief Technology Officer Scott Fields.

It’s all part of the bank’s commitment to the state’s fourth most populous city.

“We’re lending to the community and we’re putting our money back into the community by fixing it up,” bank Chairman and CEO Joseph Yewaisis says. “The branch is only a few blocks from City Hall, and a lot of government workers bank with us. We want our customers to have nice facilities to conduct their business, and we want our employees to be comfortable and proud of where they work.”

Located in the midtown historic district, 61 Broad St. has been the site of Union County Savings Bank since its founding in 1883. The bank purchased the building in 1985 from the adjacent St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was established in 1706. The historic church’s original brick building was enlarged several times, then was replaced in 1960 with the current, Gothic style structure. In 1958 the bank moved its headquarters to 320 N. Broad St.

As the bank prepares to celebrate its 140th anniversary in 2023, it is putting the finishing touches on what Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Chris McFadden calls a “refresh” of 61 Broad St.

The final phase is largely cosmetic, with fresh paint and flooring, new furniture and improved lighting. Teller windows will remain, but some desks will be replaced for platform staff.

“We’re not doing a broadscale redesign or renovation,” McFadden says. “It’s more a refresh to make a very nice historic building a little brighter and more comfortable for customers and employees.”

The bank’s current headquarters will undergo its own renovations in 2023. Groundbreaking for the $5 million project at 320 N. Broad St. is scheduled for spring, and Elizabeth-based companies and city residents will be hired to complete the work. The branch will be open as often as safety allows, McFadden says.

The renovations are part of UCSB’s efforts to modernize operations. On tap for the new year are online banking services and expanded service offerings such as debit cards, bill pay, Zelle transfers, eStatements and Mobile Banking.

“When other banks are closing branches in the city, we are expanding,” Yewaisis says. “We’re excited. We could go anywhere in Union County, and we choose Elizabeth. It’s such a vibrant, culturally diverse city with diverse businesses. We enjoy a great partnership with Mayor (J. Christian) Bollwage and the City Council. I know Elizabeth hasn’t had the same economic explosion as Jersey City, but I think it will be the next city to undergo that.”

The bank’s branches in Union and Cranford also will get refreshes in the coming months, Yewaisis says. 

Union County Savings Bank, which will celebrate its 140th anniversary this year, is FDIC insured, with $1.9 billion in total assets and proud of its commitment to Elizabeth. To reach us, visit unioncountysavings.com or call (908) 354-4600.  If you’re interested in joining our diverse and dynamic team, you can learn more by visiting our Careers page