Leadership from JPMorgan Chase, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens (secind from left) and other distinguished guests gathered Thursday, April 6 for the grand opening of the company’s newest branch in Atlanta’s Summerhill neighborhood. Photo by Janelle Ward/The Atlanta Voice

Leadership from JPMorgan Chase, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and other distinguished guests gathered Thursday morning for the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the company’s newest banking facility in Atlanta’s Summerhill neighborhood.

Located in the heart of Summerhill, the new facility, situated across from Center Parc Credit Union Stadium at the corner of Hank Aaron Drive and Georgia Avenue, will operate in a community center-style format, hosting educational workshops, mentorship opportunities and other chances for personal engagement between banking professionals and clientele.

The new location will be the 16th community center branch in the country and the first of its kind in Atlanta. 

“Atlanta’s growth and prosperity in recent years has exceeded all expectations, but more people need to be part of the opportunity this city represents,” said CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, in a press release announcing the opening. “Our Summerhill Community Center branch is our stake in the ground to fuel opportunity for more residents, especially underserved populations. At the same time, we are also growing our presence here through jobs and branches which will have a direct impact on strengthening the local economy.”

The company’s communal approach to banking and financial planning was introduced publicly in 2019 with the opening of its first branch in New York, and now serves as part of JPMorgan Chase’s five-year, $30 billion commitment to narrow the racial equity gap plaguing minority-dominated communities across the United States.

Mayor Dickens said the new location will help remedy the city’s long-standing issue of economic mobility, while also addressing the absence of financial institutions in south Atlanta neighborhoods.

“Historically, Atlanta has been one of the most challenging cities for upward economic mobility in the country,” Dickens said. “I want to make sure that our city grows, but I want balanced growth that everyone can share in this prosperity, and no one is left behind.”

Chase also works closely with nonprofits and other influential organizations to accomplish their philanthropic goals within underrepresented communities.

Grant Hill, co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, said he is proud to partner with Chase to help initiate change across areas of improvement in the city.

“We’re so excited,” Hill said. “We’re beyond thrilled and we want to try to amplify what Chase is doing, and really teach financial literacy, financial education, and work in collaboration to try to decrease that wealth gap that we’re all familiar with. Today is symbolic of a great partnership, great initiative and a great day and future for the City of Atlanta.”

JPMorgan Chase’s Summerhill branch will be operated by company representatives equipped with financial planning experience, who are also native to the Atlanta area. 

Mathilda Lambert, Atlanta Community Manager at Chase, said the Summerhill branch will benefit the surrounding neighborhood through the impact of financial education.

“Today is both meaningful to me professionally and personally,” Lambert said. “We are committed to bringing access to resources that will impact the next generation of Atlanta residents. Our community center here at Summerhill is an extension of that commitment.”

Lambert also said the opening of the Summerhill branch will serve as a continuation of work already initiated by Chase to make financial opportunities and resources more accessible to Atlanta residents and business owners.   

“We opened the Chase Lounge at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs to help entrepreneurs gain access to financial health tools in the same place where they are starting and running their businesses,” Lambert said. “So we’re super excited that Summerhill is going to be an expansion of the work that we have already started.”

Kevin Brown, branch manager of the Summerhill location, said he looks forward to conversing with future clients in order to help them generate wealth and ultimately reach their financial goals.

“There’s a reason we call this a community center,” Brown said. “Because everything we will do in this branch will be intentional and centered around this community.”

Jason Winston, city council member representing Atlanta’s first district, said the bank’s opening will increase financial opportunities for college students, as well, with portions of Georgia State University’s campus sitting blocks away from the branch.

“There’s a lot of college students that are just across the street or down the street that will now have the opportunity to do their banking right in this community,” Winston said. “So we are beyond thrilled to welcome the new Chase banking center to this wonderful neighborhood.”

Winston also said that Chase’s involvement in Summerhill is assisting a community already experiencing revitalization, following a period of economic stagnation partially sparked by the erection of Atlanta’s highway system and university expansion.

“There is a tremendous amount of new development happening. New homes are being built and businesses are back,” Winston said. “So it is only fitting that Chase will be at the center of this growth.”

JPMorgan Chase’s expansion to the Summerhill neighborhood is part of a larger initiative to expand the company’s presence across the metro Atlanta area. The company plans to open 

15 additional branches in greater Atlanta by 2024.

Chase will also hire an additional 500 employees across multiple industries by the end of 2025, increasing its workforce locally by about 33%. The bank will also expand its office space in Buckhead by approximately 40,000 square feet to accommodate this future growth.

Dimon said this growth will, in turn, benefit the communities surrounding the cities in which they establish roots, as Chase relies on local and minority-owned businesses to build and support their community center locations. He also said Chase’s community center model attracts small businesses in search of financial education and support.

“The community center is usually built by minority contractors, the food we have at events – local vendors,” Dimon said. “Does the community center model, in fact, lift up the neighborhood? We believe it does, and the people love it.”