SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- One of the most visible buildings in Santa Maria is now open for business.
On Monday, CoastHills Credit Union welcomed in its first members to its new headquarters at the Enos Ranch development.
"It's really an exciting day," said Paul Cook, CoastHills President & Chief Executive Officer. "After several years of getting this building built, we're opening the branch to our members-owners. They can come in here and have a state-of-the-art facility, great location and to be able to give them the service they need to move them forward."
The massive 93,000 square foot, three-story building has been a work in progress since the groundbreaking in April 2017.
CoastHills employees began moving into the building last month.
Located at the busy intersection of Highway 101 and Betteravia Road, the building is seen by thousands of people each day.
With its size, location and style, it's now easily one of the most recognizable buildings in Santa Maria.
"It's great and it's beautiful," said CoastHills member Jennifer Nunes. "It's gorgeous and you definitely notice it."
The Santa Maria resident was one of the first credit union members to use the newly-opened branch on Monday morning.
"I walked into the door on my birthday and was handed a nice $20 bill," said Nunes. "It was great. Good way to start my day!"
CoastHills handed out $20 bills to its first 15 members on Monday.
It was all part of a "soft opening" the credit union held for the opening.
Cook said a more formal, celebratory grand opening is scheduled for March.
He added the building will be much more than simply the new headquarters for the locally-owned business.
He pointed out community will also be able to utilize some of its space.
"When we built this building, one of the things that was really important was to provide space for our other community leaders," said Cook. "We have a space that's available to the community where they can come meet and get away from maybe where do their business to figure out how they going to better serve this community."
In addition, the second floor is still under construction and will eventually become home to A.T. Still University.
"They have a great facility coming on board where they're going to train physician assistants," said Cook. "This is where they're going to have their physician assistant program and we're excited that they partnered with to use this as the location where they're training healthcare providers for our community."
The university had originally planned to hold its first classes in July 2020, but has now pushed the timetable back one year until July 2021.
With the opening of the CoastHills building, it essentially completes all major construction on the upper portion of the Enos Ranch development along Betteravia Road.
"This is almost the center of Santa Maria and you can come here and whether you need something improved on your home or you need to do some financial work with us and we have Costco right beneath us and across the way, you have multiple restaurants and everything from sporting equipment to home goods, what a great place," said Cook. "The people in Santa Maria who put this together are to be complimented. We are very grateful to be a part of it. I believe the city has done a great job in the planning."
Cook added the new building has created about 30 new jobs with CoastHills, with those positions totaling about $2 million in annual salary.