Unity Bank opened a new commercial and residential lending office in Ocean County, marking its southernmost location in the state.
Announced Feb. 28, the office at 1255 Route 70 in Lakewood expands the Hunterdon County-based bank’s presence in the state’s fastest-growing municipality.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Lakewood experienced more growth than any other municipality in the state over the past 10 years — its population grew 46% in that time — and is now the New Jersey’s fifth-largest city.
“We have seen tremendous growth in our loan portfolio in Lakewood over the last couple years, particularly in commercial lending,” said Unity Bank President and CEO James Hughes in a statement. “Population growth and other marketplace factors have contributed to the growing demand for financial services in the community.”
Over the past two years, Hughes estimates Unity Bank has closed approximately $150 million in commercial loans for customers in Lakewood.
“We are expanding our commercial and residential lending team in Lakewood because we are committed to meeting the community’s demand for banking services,” he added.
Located within a strip mall, Unity’s newest office is a free-standing building with approximately 1,800 square feet that previously operated as a branch for another financial institution.
According to Unity, the building offers room to expand.
“The first loan I managed in Lakewood was back in 2017 for a laundromat,” Commercial Loan Officer and First Vice President Jay Strauss, who manages a team that services the Ocean County area, said in a statement. “Mostly by word of mouth, the volume has increased dramatically from that point, everything from office buildings to campgrounds, and the business opportunity continues to grow.”
Clinton-based Unity Bank has 19 retail service locations across Bergen, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, Union and Warren counties.
As of Sept. 30, 2021, the most-recent information available, the bank has approximately $2 billion in assets and $1.7 billion in deposits.