By Laura Kostad
Northwest Farm Credit Services is moving into the bustling commercial area near Broadmoor Boulevard and Sandifur Parkway in Pasco.
The Spokane-based company has been making headway on the construction of its new $3 million building at 9915 St. Thomas Drive near the Road 100 exit. It is set to open in November.
Not far from the company’s current location on Bedford Street, Branch Manager Michael Babenko said business growth and the timing of their lease’s upcoming expiration prompted the move.
“The Columbia Basin is one of the most diversified and high-producing regions,” he said.
Even as rapid development in Tri-Cities has converted bordering agricultural land into suburbs in recent years, “processors are coming into the King City and Pasco area to capitalize on some of the best agricultural land in the country,” he said.
Ongoing growth in the region’s agricultural sector is due to the Columbia River’s ample water base, enabling the region to outcompete similarly arid, though more drought-prone land in California.
As drought patterns continue to pose threats to California’s agriculture industry, more and more companies are looking north to the Columbia Basin.
“This move helps us grow for the future,” Babenko said.
He describes the new 24,000-square-foot, two-story building as a “regional agricultural center where we can continue to meet the needs of the farmers and ranchers in the area for years to come.”
Yost Gallagher Construction of Spokane is the contractor.
Northwest Farm Credit Services has been providing lending for production cycles and longer-term loans to the Northwest region since 1916 as a part of the Farm Credit System.
This network was established to provide a reliable source of loan and credit services to rural borrowers.
Farm Credit has 48 branches across the U.S.
“The level of expertise and knowledge that we can bring to this area is different from other banks,” Babenko said.
“Over 75 percent of our employees grew up on farms and decided to go this route after college. A lot of them are very connected to agriculture and are still a part of it—some even still have farms at home.”
Up to 40 people will work at the new office.
Northwest Farm Credit Services employs its own in-house appraisers and crop insurance group in addition to other specialists.
The company’s new building will feature a variety of new meeting spaces outfitted with updated technology for clients, as well as visiting trade associations and nonprofits to utilize.
“We’re a one-stop-shop,” Babenko said.
Northwest Farm Credit Services’ current location at 9530 Bedford St. will remain open until the new building is completed.
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