Chase Bank quietly closes two branches in Merrillville and another in Portage

Chase Bank has closed its branch at 8585 Broadway in Merrillville, which was its largest by deposits in Northwest Indiana. The New York City-based bank has gone from having 34 branches in Northwest to just 27 in the past three years.

Chase Bank quietly has closed three more Northwest Indiana branches as it continues to shrink its footprint in the Region.

The New York City-based bank, the largest in the United States, recently shuttered its branches at 6200 Central Ave. in Portage, 7925 Taft St. in Merrillville, and 8585 Broadway in Merrillville, in an office tower that had a Chase sign on the side of the building.

Chase entered the Northwest Indiana market in 2004 after buying out Bank One and taking over its 34 local branches. Chase, which was the largest bank by market share in Northwest Indiana until Centier Bank toppled it from the top spot in 2017, has been shuttering branches across the Region in recent years.

The bank has closed seven Northwest Indiana locations in the past three years, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. records. Chase closed its branches at 700 N. Main St. in Crown Point and 5930 Hohman Ave. in Hammond in 2017 and its locations at 2203 W. 11th Ave. in Gary and 1203 E. Ridge Road in Griffith in 2016.

As of June 30 of last year, Chase remained the No. 2 bank by market share in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Summary of Deposits. It accounted for 19.53% of the overall market share in Northwest Indiana with $2.74 billion in deposits, trailing only Centier Bank.

Chase, which Centier has targeted with ads like "Chase'd away by higher fees?" has since closed three branches that had more than $500 million in deposits. The 8585 Broadway branch in Merrillville was the largest in Northwest Indiana by a country mile with more than $388 million in deposits, more than twice as much as any other Chase branch in the Region, likely due to its location amid a cluster of office buildings and corporate headquarters in Merrillville.

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Chase's name was displayed on the third story of the 200,000-square-foot building, which was built as a headquarters by Gary National Bank. It changed its name to Gainer Bank, and was acquired by NBD, which was acquired by Bank One, and finally was acquired by Chase. Chase once leased several floors of office space there, but it only had a bank branch with a drive-through in recent years.

Lori Saulters, property and leasing manager, said Chase was leaving behind 5,330 square feet of space that it was now looking to market to another tenant, potentially another bank or even a restaurant.

The building manager would be willing to remove the drive-through and add another entrance, and a prospective tenant could lease as much as 9,000 square feet on the first floor of the eight-story office tower, which is the tallest Class A multi-tenant office building in the largely suburban Region and recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation.

"We're open to all ideas for that space and would love to get a restaurant," Saulters said.

A Chase Bank representative did not respond to questions by press time.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.