Biz Buzz: Credit Union Looking To Build A Branch By Costco Right Off Highway 371


The proposal to develop a Wings Financial Credit Union is expected to be submitted to Baxter City Council this week. If approved, the credit union would be built on 1.75 acres north of Forthun Road on land between Costco and Highway 371, just north of the CentraCare – Baxter specialty clinic.

The land is certainly in a prominent location along Corridor 371 and this addition would join a seemingly large field of existing financial institutions.

“As part of the plan, the plaintiff would create building land for a new 3,271 square foot credit union building,” according to the city’s new business report. “The building is designed with its main entrance and parking to the south. Access would be from the east using the shared driveway of the Costco property. The credit union would also have a detached training station on the east side of the development.

Exterior view of the Maple Grove Wings Financial Credit Union branch. Photo by Wings Financial

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In a recent annual report, Wings Financial noted the challenges of 2020, including closing branches, but said it increased its capital reserves by $ 80 million last year. In order to bring value to Wings members, the organization has indicated that it needs to constantly grow and add new members.

In the minutes of the annual meeting, Wings Financial Chairman of the Board, Mark Photiades, mentioned that “some members are joining after hearing about offers from friends, while the most significant growth in the Membership numbers are seen through acquisitions, such as the upcoming merger with Brainerd Savings & Loan which was announced earlier in the year. He noted that the acquisition will expand Wings’ footprint in central Minnesota, giving members who live there – or vacation in the north – an additional service option in the region, adding that the deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be concluded this summer. ”

Wings Financial said it funded $ 1.9 billion in loans last year, including a record $ 1.2 billion in mortgages. Areas of rapid growth were listed as high yield savings and high yield checking accounts.

Wings Financial and Brainerd Savings & Loan have announced that they have entered into an agreement with Wings to purchase the bank and branch from Brainerd in January 2021, with the transaction expected to close by May 31.

Founded in 1922, Brainerd Savings & Loan has served central Minnesota for over 99 years. In 2020, he reported approximately $ 72.4 million in assets and a location to Brainerd.

At the time of the announcement, Catherine Meyer, CEO, President and Director of Brainerd Savings & Loan said in a press release: “This is an exciting transaction! Wings and Brainerd Savings & Loan are institutions owned by their members. Our philosophies and operating principles are surprisingly similar. … Wings is passionate about the communities it serves and is committed to continuing its tradition of excellence in the Brainerd Lakes region.

With the addition of the Brainerd branch, Wings said it includes 25 locations in Minnesota and is exploring opportunities to expand here. With the addition of a branch in Northfield this spring, the number rose to 26.

Wings Financial reported $ 6.7 billion in assets and over 300,000 members at the start of the year.

“Founded in 1938, the members of Wings have grown to include anyone who lives or works in 24 counties in Minnesota, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Detroit, Seattle and Orlando metro areas and the nationwide aviation industry, ”Wings Financial reported.

Outdoor food, music, and vendors are hallmarks of summer and these items are added weekly in downtown Brainerd.

The Destination Downtown Brainerd Coalition reported that the Here for Good Market had more than 15 local food and craft vendors kicking off from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 8 on South 7th Street between Front Street and Laurel Street. The market will continue until August 31. “The market will be held all summer at this location and hopes to encourage businesses in downtown Brainerd to be held later Tuesday evening for the Here for Good Market attendees,” the coalition said. Concerts and craftsman demonstrations are scheduled every week. To view the calendar of events, visit the Facebook page or the DDBC website at

Those interested in becoming a supplier or sponsor of the Here for Good Marketplace should contact Rylie Weber at [email protected] or 218-831-4870.

Best Buy is now offering order pickup from multiple locations. So if you need a new monitor and don’t want to fight traffic across town to get it, or if there’s a location just a minute from your home or office, you now have several choices. Order pickup can be done at the Baxter Best Buy store, the UPS store in West Brainerd, or Advance Auto Parts on Washington Street in Brainerd. Those who prefer curbside pickup or being able to get orders quickly – within hours or for a same-day pickup – may still need to visit the Best Buy store. A test order Friday morning, the order was ready to be picked up in the other locations by Tuesday. If customers are not in a hurry, alternative sites can come in very handy and save you time.

Renee Richardson, editor, can be reached at 218-855-5852 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter at

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