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ST. MICHAEL, MN-In designing a new 20,000-sf building for the Great Northern Bank, the challenge to KKE Architects was to recreate the feeling of a historic small town bank.

“From the inside to the outside, our goal was to recall the historic character of the bank and create a warm, old time atmosphere, while incorporating the latest in banking technology,” says Kathy Anderson, KKE’s commercial development group principal.

Anderson and colleagues researched historic bank buildings before choosing such details such as the brick and stone masonry and large metal cornice on the building’s exterior, and the columns, soffits, working gas fireplace, mahogany wood and antique gold finishes on its interior. The general contractor on the project was Kinghorn Construction of Rogers MN.

The bank is in St. Michael, a town about 26 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, where it serves 2,500 customers from its single location. The company was in a 3,000 sf-leased office at 106 Central Avenue East in St. Michael, MN, but wanted to expand into its own building.

The bank recently moved into the $2.4 million 20,000-sf two-story building, where it occupies about half of the building’s available space. The bank also leases space to such tenants as Gries & Lenhardt Attorneys, Principal Financial Group, and Zachman Insurance Agency, says Health West, a spokeswoman for KKE Architects, the Minneapolis-based architecture firm.

Bank officials hope the building will become a central resource for businesses and residents needing professional services. About 8,000-sf of office space is available for lease, she said.

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