Washington Mutual, Inc. retained BL Companies to provide architectural, interior design as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services for the greater New York roll out of the bank’s Occasio retail banking concept.
‘Occasio’ means favorable opportunity and represents a dramatic shift from traditional bank branches in look, feel and service. Occasio takes its cue from cutting edge retailers by using an open, welcoming environment to draw people into the financial center. The circular design removes the traditional bank barriers between customers and employees and introduces innovations such as SmartTouch screens for customers to research bank services and products independently or with a bank representative.
BL Companies has completed due diligence, survey, concept plan layout and full working drawings for more than 40 locations in the New York metropolitan area. Branches range in size from 2,000 SF to 6,000 SF. Locations are typically storefront spaces, but will also include ground-up construction as the program spreads into suburban areas.
BL Companies consistently responded to Washington Mutual’s fast-track timeframes, providing complete concept packages for two to three buildings a week, with a three-week turnaround time for construction documents.