Visit our Santa Monica branch: 2425 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA, 90404.
With so much of the entertainment industry now working near the shore, you would expect us to have a super convenient Westside location, and you wouldn’t be disappointed. Enter our popular Santa Monica branch on Colorado Avenue between 26th Street and Cloverfield Boulevard.
For more than a decade, our sleek, efficient branch has been serving a huge community of industry folks, including HBO, Hulu, Universal Music, Vudu and AMC, as well as Rubin Postaer (one of LA’s great, long-running ad agencies), Red Bull, a slew of production companies, smallish studios, editing and recording facilities, casting offices and, well, pretty much the gamut. We’ve all grown up together.
But over the last five years or so, the neighborhood has palpably transformed. Today, it’s as much a hub for technology as it is for entertainment, although the overlap between the two is almost total. We’re talking Yahoo, Beats Electronics and the inimitable Riot Games – among many other tech innovators – all within footsteps of the branch.
No wonder everyone wants to be here. The area is quiet, lovely, safe, pretty much perfect. There’s even a really nice park down the street, which is usually dotted with huddles of intense looking people having meetings and brainstorming sessions in the shade of the many trees. Colorado Center Park is a publicly accessible park owned and maintained by the Colorado Center. The 3.5 acre park boasts 2 tennis courts, a half-court basketball court, children’s playground, volleyball court and 5-station fitness course.
“Our customers tend to be youngish,” explains Juan Zianes, the Branch Manager. “These are super smart, super creative, highly individualistic people who are literally inventing the future of our industry. So, yeah…” Juan says with a wry smile, “we have to go above and beyond.”
Sitting at the next desk, with a huge radiant smile, is Lisa Delci, the Branch Services Specialist. Lisa laughs knowingly and chimes in. “We’re very proactive. We don’t wait to be asked to help, we just do it.” Lisa goes on to tell us case after case where they’ve assisted members in ways that extend far beyond the boundaries of the branch like helping members get established when they’ve just moved to town, when they’ve had credit challenges, complex financial transactions to sort out, foreign currency issues, and on and on. “Honestly,” Lisa adds, “most members can’t believe we do all that we do. It blows them away.”
“It makes our jobs very rewarding,” says Juan, with obvious pride.
Make no mistake about it, though, it’s a demanding crowd. “Our members expect us to have the best mobile technology, obviously,” says Juan. “And I’m happy to say, we’re delivering.” What services do members seem to use the most? Juan doesn’t miss a beat. “Mobile Deposit. We make it so easy, and we hear raves about it all the time. And Apple Pay is really starting to take off. It’s hugely convenient. I personally love it.”
And yet, if you were to ask the members who frequent the branch, it’s clear that one of the most loved features of the place is about as low tech as you can get. We’re talking about the free parking. Now, it may not sound as sexy as paying for your groceries with a wave of your phone, but if you’ve ever tried to park in Santa Monica in the middle of the day, you’ll know that finding unbridled access to tons of free parking is akin to a religious experience.
Next time you’re on the Westside and need to visit a branch, Juan and his team will be waiting to meet you. Juan leaves us with a request: “Please tell our members, ‘If you’ve got a particularly nagging problem or difficult financial quandary, bring it to us.’ That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we do best.”
The Santa Monica branch hours are:
Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Friday, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Parking is free with validation.
And in case you want to finish a few errands with a single trip to the branch, the center happens to be convenient to a wide array of amenities, including:
- Great restaurants, like the nearby Daily Grill, Cafe Sol, Cafe Presto, and Bru’s Wiffle A Waffle Joint.
- Professional childcare
- Car wash and detail service
While we’d love for you to visit our Santa Monica branch, we have ten locations spread throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Check out our list to find the branch nearest you: firstent.org/locations