Heritage Oaks to buy Cambria's former Bank of America building

ktanner@thetribunenews.comJanuary 23, 2013 

Heritage Oaks Bank is in escrow to purchase the vacant Bank of America building on Main Street in Cambria. The deal could close as soon as Jan. 31, according to bank executives.

Bill Raver, corporation executive vice president and general counsel, said the move will be advantageous to Heritage Oaks Bank and its customers in several ways. “It’s always better to own rather than lease. There are very few potential locations for banks in Cambria … and this is better for our customers in terms of accessibility, location and parking.”

He said that he couldn’t reveal the sales price.

Kristin Kearns, Cambria branch manager, said she has a staff of seven, including mortgage specialist Craig Marlo. Raver said he doesn’t expect the staff size to increase.

The 7,000-square-foot location at 2255 Main St. is more than twice as large as the current facility, which Raver estimates is about 2,900 square feet.

The new location has “more space than we need,” he said, so Heritage Oaks is considering its options for the extra square footage.

“We’re seriously considering subleasing some of the space,” and there have been some inquiries about that possibility, Raver explained.

“It’s a good retail location.” Whether the bank does that, or a combination of some retail and a bank-branch community room, will depend in part on “what the county and the CCSD (Cambria Community Services District) will let us do,” Raver added.

Bank of America had been in Cambria for decades; it closed its Cambria branch, which it built in 1979, in November, and later moved its ATM facility to 734 Main St.

Heritage Oaks took over the Cambria Village Square space formerly occupied by Wells Fargo Bank in 1994.

Heritage Oaks was chartered in 1983 in Paso Robles, and has grown to 14 branches as far away as Oxnard. Eight are in San Luis Obispo County, including a new branch in Morro Bay that opened earlier this month.

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