Unity Bank opens Fort Lee branch, now has 20 branches in N.J./Pa. area

Unity Bank on Monday said it opened a new full-service branch in Fort Lee, increasing its service footprint to 20 branches and enhancing its retail presence in Bergen County. The new branch is located at 899 Palisade Ave. at the intersection with Columbia Avenue.

“We are committed to Bergen County, and Fort Lee is a natural fit to our footprint,” Unity Bank CEO and President James Hughes said. “Banking services at the branch level are increasingly important to our customers, particularly small business owners who still, even in the age of electronic banking, rely on branches. Community banks are engines for economic growth, and we are focused on bringing that drive to Bergen County.”

Unity is bringing a local flavor to the 1,890-square-foot branch. The facility features the abstract landscape oil paintings of Bergen County artist Sol Zaretsky of Teaneck. Unity purchased several of Zaretsky’s paintings through its program to support local artists in communities where it has branches.

The facility, previously operated by another bank, includes dedicated parking and drive-up banking and ATM services. Surrounding businesses include an insurance company, salon and a dentist.

Ryan Peene, Unity Bank’s senior vice president/chief depository officer, who is well known in the Bergen County and Hudson County communities for his leadership roles on the city of Hoboken planning board and Greater Bergen Community Action, leads the development of the Fort Lee branch and all of Unity’s retail banking operations.

The Fort Lee team also includes Franca Fabrizio, area manager; Sunita Pereira, operations manager; Vince Forma, commercial lender; Kathleen Hay, SBA lender; and mortgage lenders Nicholas Aversa and Pasquale Grande.

Fort Lee is the second new branch opened by Unity in the last two months. In December, the bank opened a branch in Lakewood in Ocean County. Unity Bank now provides financial services to retail, corporate and small business customers in Bergen, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Ocean, Somerset, Union and Warren counties in New Jersey and Northampton County in Pennsylvania.