SEATTLE — Washington Mutual Inc. has announced that it plans to open 60 to 80 of its specially designed Occasio branches in metropolitan Atlanta within the “next several years.”

The openings are expected to create 500 to 700 new jobs, the company said.

Atlanta will be the first city east of the Mississippi to have Occasio branches, which are designed to look more like retail stores than traditional banks and which typically have special technology features.

Wamu piloted the branches in Las Vegas last year. So far it has opened 16 in Las Vegas and eight in Phoenix; it plans to open 32 more in the Phoenix area.

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