• Location:
Seattle, Washington

• Type: Branch Transformation
• Size: 5,935 sq.ft.


  • Brand Touchpoint Integration
  • Programming, Architectural & Interior Design,
  • Equipment & Furniture
  • Construction Management, Cost Estimating & Bidding



Since its founding over 50 years ago, Waterfront Federal Credit Union has based its success not only on its core SEG of the Longshoremen Union, but also by growing through its affiliation with other unions in the area. They take pride in being an exclusive, not-for-profit financial cooperative for the many union organizations they welcome. With an expiring lease approaching Waterfront Federal Credit Union decided it was time to relocate and modernize a new owned space. As they began the project they kept in mind that the importance of showing their dedication and loyalty to their members and employees, and in such a way that didn’t come across like they were flaunting their stakeholder’s money. In the end the final result reflected this core goal with La Macchia Group designing the project through the eyes of how the community would see and experience it. The collaboration and passion behind this partnership shows through in the unique details that this main office is made of.


From Strategic Analysis to Real Estate Acquisition

La Macchia Group kicked off their partnership with Waterfront Federal Credit Union by analyzing their current market to see if they were geographically set up for success. The GIS experts at La Macchia Group specifically focused on SEG-related patterns to see how their current union members traveled and used their previous facility. Since Waterfront Federal Credit Union is a smaller financial institution, they knew the importance of getting this project right. With that in mind, they trusted La Macchia Group’s recommendations, backed by data, to ultimately make decisions. Once the choice was finalized to relocate to a new Seattle location, the real challenge began. Finding an affordable solution in an extremely inflated real estate market would be no easy task. To help ensure Waterfront Federal Credit Union acquired the right-sized building, La Macchia Group completed a space planning program which presented a target building size for procurement. After 9 months of real estate selection, a diamond in the rough was found which needed to be secured quickly. The beauty is that Waterfront was already empowered to make such a decision. By having a market analysis and space planning program in hand, the Credit Union was able to pull the trigger and place under contract the right location. Through building due diligence, La Macchia Group continued to assist Waterfront Federal Credit Union through the purchase of this 1940’s multi-tenant building and additionally with the lease negotiations between some of the existing tenants.


Visually Embracing a Real, Passionate Culture

Waterfront Federal Credit Union reciprocates its members’ loyalty in new and unique ways.. They differentiate themselves in the industry by incorporating a “come-as-you-are, we understand, we won’t judge and we’re here to help” approach. Knowing this objective, La Macchia Group worked with Waterfront to create an experience for them that hit close to home – using materials and tones that they see and feel every day. For example, in the credit union’s branch lobby, you will see a branded mural representing the client’s Field Of Membership and the city it resides in. Orange accent furniture plays off the primary brand color blue, which is used throughout. An LED recess soffit was installed directly above the lounge to light up the waiting area. Blue metal panels were installed to mimic shipping containers as a way to further bring out and highlight the membership that Waterfront serves.