5:35 PM WEDNESDAY: Chase Bank is closing its branch inside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor). The announcement came in a letter sent to customers. The notice says it’s closing as of December 30th, but doesn’t cite a reason. We’ve contacted Chase with followup questions including why; we won’t get replies until tomorrow (we’ll update this story when we get them(. Meantime, we asked Thriftway management if they have plans for the space; none yet, we’re told, because they just found out a few days ago. The branch originally opened as Washington Mutual when Thriftway opened this building in 1998, rebuilt after a fire the year before; Chase took over in 2009 after WaMu failed. Chase has three other branches in West Seattle – Admiral, The Junction, and Westwood Village.
11:35 AM THURSDAY: Just got answers to our questions from Chase spokesperson Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot. Why the closure? “We are continually evaluating the location of our branches to best meet our customers’ needs.” No other West Seattle closures. As for what happens to the people who work at, and customers of, the Thriftway branch: “The deposits will be moved to West Seattle branch and employees will go to nearby locations, all will have a home with us. The ATM will remain on site.”