Rogue Federal plans $7.5 million in new office space

Headquarters expansion would double the square footage on South Pacific Highway

Rogue Credit Union plans to nearly double the size of its headquarters in south Medford.

The rapidly expanding credit union, which also has nearly doubled its membership in the past decade, has submitted plans for a two-story, 31,886-square-foot building between its existing 32,000-square foot administrative offices and South Pacific Highway.

"When we converted the last closet into a workspace six months ago, we knew we had to do something," said Gene Pelham, Rogue Credit Union president and CEO.

The credit union has seen membership jump to 77,146 from 39,600 in 2003, a 95 percent increase. With the acquisition of Chetco Federal Credit Union in 2012, Rogue expanded its presence to five Oregon counties — Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine and Klamath — and Del Norte County on the California coast.

The institution has 305 employees, including 219 in Jackson County, where its administrative operations have been farmed out to remote locations from Central Point to the former Scottish Rite temple near the end of East Barnett Road. With the new building, the 60 or so people handling compliance, payroll, and human resources will be able to move into the same complex as the rest of the home office staff. Between the new administration building and remodeling of the existing offices, as many as 190 people will be able to work at the headquarters.

As of Jan. 31, the credit union had $866 million in assets, up from $309 million 10 years ago. During the same period, its loan portfolio has grown from $236 million to $639 million.

Rogue had $499 million in deposits last June. Although the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. doesn't rank credit unions alongside banks, RCU would have been No. 2 in Jackson County, behind U.S. Bank and ahead of Umpqua Bank.

Rogue's current offices, completed in March 1999, cost $5.8 million, including the land. Even with the property already in hand, the design, permitting and construction of the upcoming expansion will cost around $7.5 million.

"Even though you can't buy the land for what we built it for in 1998," Pelham said. "It's still a good value."

Adroit Construction of Ashland will build the new office, designed by Ogden Roemer Wilkerson Architecture of Medford. The credit union expects to break ground April 18 and hopes to move in at the beginning of 2015.

Pelham said the reason for expanding the home office staff is to keep the institution's financial footprint closer to home.

"We don't contract out a lot of the services we provide," he said. "We like keeping everything inside, including marketing and our call center. We do things with very little outside assistance."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/EconomicEdge.



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