MOUNT PLEASANT — Educators Credit Union has bought Johnson Outdoors’ previous headquarters building for $3.2 million and will move its own headquarters there.
ECU closed on the purchase of 1326 Willow Road on Nov. 15. Gene Szymczak, the credit union’s president, said it will become the new headquarters, home to ECU’s administrative offices.
Those offices are now in three different buildings, Szymczak said: two of them at the current headquarters at 1400 N. Newman Road; and one at 1300 90th St.
ECU will consolidate those administrative offices and support services at the newly purchased property, he said, and also move its call center there from the 90th Street building.
It will not be a place where the public does business, Szymczak said.
ECU will rent out the vacated spaces, he said — at least until such time that further growth warrants their use by the credit union.
“We’re talking with a few parties that would rent space, mainly at the Newman Road location,” Szymczak said.
Asked if ECU’s growth drove the purchase, he said, “It was a combination of things: steady growth — we’re at about $1.4 billion (in assets) — and our goal is to keep the company in Racine. (The building) is much larger than we need right now.”
Johnson Outdoors spokeswoman Cynthia Georgeson said the Willow Road building was constructed in about the early 1990s. The company moved its headquarters into the $22.5 million Johnson Building, 555 Main St., as soon as it opened in 2002. Johnson Diversey, which became Diversey and is now part of Sealed Air, later used the Willow Road building for additional office space, Georgeson said.
ECU bought the building fully furnished, Szymczak said.
The plan is to slowly move in, department by department, after Jan. 1 and be fully moved in by spring, he said.