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STERLING FINANCIAL CORP. PURCHASES FORMER FREDERICK & NELSON BUILDING

 SPOKANE, Wash., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Financial Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: STSA) announced today that it has purchased the buildings fronting Riverside Avenue in downtown Spokane, formerly occupied by Frederick & Nelson Department Store.
 Sterling purchased the two buildings, commonly known as the "Bank Building" (on Riverside and Wall Street) and the "Riverside Building" (next door) to be used as their headquarters building. "The purchase of a Sterling headquarters building in downtown Spokane has been a plan of ours for some time. This purchase confirms our commitment to Spokane -- our hometown," Harold B. Gilkey, chairman of the board, stated. The purchase by Sterling did not include the building fronting Main Avenue, also formerly occupied by Frederick & Nelson.
 Sterling currently occupies approximately 42,000 square feet in three downtown locations -- the Sherwood Building at West 510 Riverside Avenue, located one block from the new site; the Wall Street Building at North 120 Wall Street, located across the street from the new site; and the Paulsen Building at West 421 Riverside. Gilkey said, "The purchased building has approximately 80,000 square feet, which will allow Sterling to expand from what has become very inefficient quarters and provide additional convenience for our customers."
 Gilkey emphasized, "Our objective in selecting a headquarters building was to choose a site that would meet the needs of our customers as well as contribute to the betterment of downtown and our community. Spokane can only benefit from having this major piece of downtown property return to local ownership."
 Initial work has begun by Sterling's Architectural Committee to establish the process and selection of various professionals for this project. "We eagerly look forward to the opportunity of selecting our architect and starting the process of creating a more visible headquarters building of which we all can be proud," Gilkey said. Sterling is looking at moving employees into the new building in the spring of 1994. Significant remodeling, including new elevators, heating and electrical will be required. "Our intent is to begin remodeling as soon as possible," Gilkey emphasized.
 Gilkey concluded by saying, "Our style of banking -- "Hometown Helpful" -- has proven to be very desirable for our communities. In an era of mergers and disappearing corporate headquarters in Spokane, we foresee an ever-increasing opportunity for Sterling to expand in its hometown."
 Sterling Financial Corp. of Spokane is a savings an company which owns Sterling Savings Association. Sterling Savings Association is a Washington state-chartered, federally insured stock savings association which opened in April 1983. Sterling Savings Associating, based in Spokane, has 27 branches throughout the state of Washington and, through its wholly owned subsidiary Action Mortgage Co., operates loan production offices in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
 -0- 3/31/93
 /CONTACT: Heidi B. Stanley of Sterling Financial, 509-458-2711/
 (STSA)


CO: Sterling Financial Corp. ST: Washington IN: FIN SU:

AL-LM -- SE012 -- 1751 03/31/93 18:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1993
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