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5 Star to expand to Bainbridge

Five Star Credit Union plans to build a regional branch here after it purchased the old Buyer’s Choice property, which is located at 1027 Shotwell St. and at the corner of Sims Street.

Bob Steensma, president and chief executive officer of the Dothan, Ala., based credit union, said Friday he hopes the credit union will develop the property, not only to offer its regular retail money services, but also have a community meeting room and offer space for training its employees.

“We’re one of the best kept secrets,” Steensma said of the credit union, adding that the property’s purchase will “certainly act as a stimulus for us.”

Five Star Credit Union, which has a branch in Attapulgus and serves approximately 1,200 customers in Decatur County, started as a credit union serving the workers at the paper mill in Cedar Springs, Ga.

It opened its Attapulgus branch in 1985, serving the workers of the now BASF plant. He said at this time the credit union will maintain a presence in Attapulgus.

Although no plans are drawn up and the property is still in the planning stages, it will likely include a drive-through facility, and Steensma said he plans to make the Shotwell Street location a regional, retail branch where it can host training of 30 to 35 persons. Normally, the credit union’s buildings are 3,000 to 3,500 square feet, but this one will likely be bigger.

There is no timetable for when the property will be developed. The property was purchased this week for $550,000, Steensma said.

The property was owned by Martin Family Group, and Buyer’s Choice was at one time part of The Money Tree’s businesses.

This will be the fifth location for Five Star Credit Union in Southwest Georgia.