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Wayne Post
  • UPDATE: Palmyra to lose downtown bank

  • Community Bank is vacating its 88-year-old building and consolidating operations at a newer site down the road

     

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  • The 88-year-old bank at the corner of Main and Cuyler streets downtown will close this summer.
    Community Bank said it plans to close its downtown Palmyra location and expand its two-year-old branch down the road on East Main Street.
    The bank announced Thursday that upon completion of the renovations, anticipated for July, the bank will consolidate the downtown branch at 170 E. Main St. with the newly renovated branch at 525 E. Main St.
    Community Bank entered the Palmyra market several years ago when it purchased Ontario National Bank. It subsequently moved from its small confines at the former ONB site to a new site across the street.
    Community Bank obtained the downtown location when it purchased several HSBC branches after the global bank sold its upstate retail business. It was called Marine Midland for many years prior to a name change by the company.
    When Community Bank obtained the site last year, some wondered whether it would have branches so close to each other, including Village Mayor Chris Piccola.
    “I’m disappointed, but I kind of knew it was coming,” he said. “I understand the facts of what it is (a business decision). Hopefully, somebody takes it over.”
    Piccola said it would be good to have another bank in town, but wondered whether Community Bank would allow another financial institution to buy the building. He noted that Community Bank’s former site on East Main Street, which it rented, has been vacant since it moved across the street two years ago.
    Community Bank also operates two branches in Newark, also the result of obtaining an HSBC branch.
    Piccola said that if not a bank, it would make an interesting site for a restaurant, noting Palmyra has no fine-dining establishments.
    “It would be kind of a cool building (for a restaurant),” he said. “I feel it is a good enough location with ample parking that it would be a desireable piece of property,” he said.
    Bank spokesman Pat Spadafore said the company has made no decisions on the downtown building’s future.
    The downtown site opened in 1925 as the First National Bank of Palmyra.
    The bank said there will be no layoffs because the employees at the downtown site will be relocated to the branch at 525 E. Main St. and other area locations.
    “These new additions will allow us to more effectively meet the growing needs of our customers.” said David Sloan, regional vice president of retail.
    Additions to the 2,700-square foot branch will include an additional 600 square feet of space that will accommodate a larger lobby, two new offices and an expanded customer area, the bank said. Externally, the bank is planning to add an additional drive-up lane, a rear customer entrance and will reconfigure its parking lot to create additional spaces. The bank plans to begin work in mid-April, weather permitting, and will remain open during the renovation.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We will try our best to not inconvenience our customers during this expansion, and we certainly appreciate their patience and understanding during the construction period,” added Sloan. “We believe that once this project is completed, our customers will appreciate the enhancements we made.”
     
     
     
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