Credit union to open local branch

Marine Federal Credit Union will soon make its South Carolina debut in Port Royal, where a new branch is expected to open next year.

The credit union purchased land at 819 Parris Island Gateway about six months ago and recently cleared the first of two structures from the property to make way for a new building, said Robert Dickerson, the credit union's executive vice president.

Officials plan to break ground on the office on Parris Island Gateway between the Russell Bell Bridge and Savannah Highway by early December and open the branch in late spring or early summer, Dickerson said.

The credit union has about 106,000 customers and branches in North Carolina and Virginia, he said. Although most members are Marines and their families, anyone who has served with a military branch and their relatives can apply for an account, Dickerson said.

It offers full-range services from savings, checking and credit card accounts to vehicle, residential and commercial loans and investment services.

The bank picked Port Royal because of its proximity to military installations, including Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

"We have had discussions of putting in future branches, but it's going to be dependent on the success of this building going in right now," Dickerson said.

Marine Federal Credit Union is a member of shared branching, which allows customers to use thousands of other credit union branches if a company they use is not available in their area, Dickerson said.

The new branch is expected to be about 2,500 square feet and will have a Lowcountry feel to it, he added.

Port Royal's Design Review Board approved plans for the branch in March, said Linda Bridges, town planning administrator.

Contractors demolished a building at the site last week that housed a sunroom-construction business, Bridges said. There is also a small house at the back of the property slated for demolition, she said.