Partnering with The Element Group happened almost virtually overnight
Having known Nate Baldasaro from prior business relationships helped lay the foundation to reach out when the need arose at Popular Bank to reduce the number of locations but still achieve a high level of assets under management (AUMs). Popular went from a $10B bank with 100 branches to $5B AUM bank and back to $10B AUM with 50 branches – same AUM but 50% fewer branches. In New York, rents are very high. Popular needed to scale down its footprint in current branches to 2,500 square feet. There was also the demand to make each of the locations a “branch of the future”.
The first project was located at Avenue U in Brooklyn. This project was plagued with problems because the previous tenant had illegally removed a wall creating an open space. Construction had already begun when this was discovered and to legally open the branch it took six months to resolve with the city. Element stuck with Popular Bank through this challenge and when this location was finished it looked phenomenal!