Last Wednesday, leaders and supporters of the community bank cut the ribbon on their newly rebuilt site at 66-60 Fresh Pond Road.
The branch is replete with a new customer service area, universal tellers and a digital bar in the front, among other features.
“We’re very excited about the connection to the community,” said Tom Rudzewick, president and CEO of Maspeth Federal, “and how we can really bring what the bank does to the community of Ridgewood.”
The building was designed to make sure that community members can see inside the branch, Rudzewick added, so they can understand that “we’re here for them.”
“We’re projecting what happens in this branch out to the street,” he said.
Ken Rudzewick, former president of Maspeth Federal, said the bank bought the site in 1998. It had been a Chase Bank branch dating back to 1921.
When the building became available for sale, Maureen Walthers, publisher and owner of the Ridgewood Times and Times Newsweekly, was inhabiting the second floor. It was Walthers who encouraged Rudzewick to buy the property.
“We came over and bought the building the next day,” he said. “She was really the person that gave us the key to be in the Ridgewood area.
“Since then, it’s been a very steady branch,” Rudzewick added. “Now, we’ve moved it in a modern direction.”
The younger Rudzewick, who took over as president and CEO in 2016, noted that Ridgewood continues to grow and thrive as a neighborhood.
More families have entered the community and new buildings are going up as well, he said.
“We know there’s value here, that’s why people are coming into Ridgewood,” he said. “This project was undertaken so that we can serve the neighborhood, including our customers, our businesses and our community groups.”
During the hours-long celebration, Rudzewick handed out awards to community organizations that have “made the community what it is.” Honorees included the East Coast Car Association, Greater Ridgewood Historical Society, the Peter Cardella Senior Citizens Center, the Ridgewood Kiwanis Club and more.
Another group recognized was Polonians Organized to Minister to our Community (POMOC), a nonprofit social services agency that is located just upstairs from the Maspeth Federal Savings branch on Fresh Pond Road.
In addition to their locations in Maspeth and Ridgewood, Maspeth Federal Savings also has branches in Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Rego Park and New Hyde Park. Rudzewick said their next location will be in Elmhurst.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said Maspeth Federal is not just a bank, but a “true good neighbor.”
“Maspeth Federal has been the standard for being part of the community,” he said. “To see Maspeth reinvesting in Ridgewood is a great sign, not only for the economy, but for our neighborhood.”