On Monday, March 3, 2014, The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce announced it reached an agreement to purchase the former Associated Bank Support Center located at the corner of La Crosse and Seventh Streets. Situated near La Crosse City Hall, this acquisition keeps the Chamber located at the economic hub of our region. The building is less than 20 years old, has approximately 19,000 square feet and over 110 parking spaces.

The Chamber Board began dreaming at least 10 years ago of a new building to house the nonprofit organization that serves businesses. The Board’s many years of fiscal management and generous contributions made this purchase a reality. It was Associated Bank’s latest contribution that made the dream a reality.

“The building will be named, The Associated Center, paying tribute to both its history and its intended future use.” said David Booth, 2013 Chamber Board Chair “The Chamber’s goal is to lease or sell space within this facility to other non-profit groups that are likewise dedicated to enhancing the business climate and quality of life in our Region.” added Booth.

In recognition of the intended future use of this building and the boost it will give to the region’s nonprofits, Associated Banc-Corp worked with the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce to make the building affordable. “Associated Bank’s contribution is valued at nearly a half million dollars.” stated David Stein, Executive Vice President of Associated Bank.  “Associated Bank strongly believes in the mission of the Chamber of Commerce and also believes that co-location of various business development groups will prove to be very beneficial to this region.”

“At Associated Bank, we understand that the health of our communities depends on the success of non-profits. We identify non-profit organizations and causes that best address the unique needs of communities across our footprint,” said David Stein, executive vice president and head of retail banking, Associated Bank. “The sale of this building to a great organization like the Chamber extends our commitment to La Crosse. It’s our hope this action will boost the momentum of development throughout the area.”

The Chamber, in this acquisition, also can realize the dream of the Lyle and Norma Anderson Family. The Andersons made a significant contribution to the Chamber a decade ago to be used for education. As a result, a 200+ seat conference room in the lower level of their building will be named the Lyle and Norma Anderson Center. Business education and training programs will take place there.

“Through these generous contributions, the Chamber is able to make this acquisition without incurring any long-term debt,” according to Bruce Friell, 2014 Chamber Board Chair. “As a result, it is the Board’s intention to offer space to nonprofit peer groups at very attractive lease rates,“

The Chamber is not considered a charitable organization so it will pay property taxes, just like any other company.

The Chamber deeply appreciates the support of Associated’s senior management team; in particular, Phillip Flynn-President and CEO, David Stein-Executive Vice President-Retail and David Knight-Vice President-Real Estate. We also sincerely appreciate the support of Dick Lommen-Founder/Owner Operator of Courtesy Corporation-McDonalds and a member of Associated Bank’s Board of Directors.

The current Chamber building at seventh and main streets and land it owned on La Crosse Street will be sold to help the organization raise the money needed or this sale.