Friday, August 25, 2017

Banks Continue to Invest in Branches, Displacing Restaurants in the Process

In an era of mobile banking, cashless businesses and financial apps like Venmo and Square, you'd think banks would be reducing their branch presence, but strangely, the opposite is happening.  
In midtown, an Einstein Bros. Bagels on Monroe Drive in front of Ansley Mall closed earlier this week and will be replaced with a new PNC Bank branch.  The branch was first proposed and approved last fall, but only recently have things started to move forward at a faster pace.  Alan Aldinger,  Vice President, Media Relations for the Pittsburgh-based bank told ToNeTo Atlanta earlier this month that PNC anticipates opening in "mid-2018."  

In Buckhead, a popular Wendy's restaurant was replaced with a PNC Bank, while a former Pizza Hut was replaced with a Chase Bank branch near the Lindbergh MARTA station.

In Sandy Springs, Atlanta based SunTrust Bank is moving forward with plans to relocate one of their existing Sandy Springs branches to a nearby site.  The new bank property, 6240 Roswell Road, is currently home to a Wendy's restaurant, and is about seven tenths of a mile north of the current branch at 5898 Roswell Road.  

Reporter Newspapers reported this past fall that the planned replacement was blasted as "anti-pedestrian" by the city Planning Commission.  The bank was said to be "out of character with the pedestrian-oriented City Springs project across the street."  In a 5-1 vote recommending denial of the project’s variances, the commission agreed with a city staff finding that called the bank and its drive-through a “detriment [to] the public good via perpetuating a pedestrian-hostile environment.” Despite the vehement objections, SunTrust won approval of their plans from the Sandy Springs City Council.   
Hugh Suhr, SunTrust Corporate Communications, told me earlier this month "we’ve made no public announcements regarding either location you’ve inquired about so I don’t have any details to share at this time."  

Despite the bank's position, plans for the construction of a 3,537 square foot SunTrust Bank at 6240 Roswell Road were released last month, and a "land disturbance" permit was issued by the City of Sandy Springs on April 10.  Sources say work could begin on the bank before the end of the year.  For those still craving Wendy's "fresh never frozen" square patties, the Wendy's at 8455 Roswell Road recently reopened after being closed for over three years.  

A few miles away in East Cobb, Regions Bank plans to demolish a relatively new (but already vacant) Pollo Tropical restaurant for a new branch

SunTrust is also relocating a branch in Dunwoody Village to the former Old Hickory House, also in Dunwoody Village,  that was first expected to become a Black Walnut Cafe location.  The current SunTrust at 1710 Mount Vernon Road would close to make way for the new branch.

What are your thoughts on all the bank branches popping up around metro Atlanta?  How often do you visit a physical bank branch?  Where do you bank? 

Please share your thoughts below

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

That "East Cobb, Regions Bank" still burns me up! We don't need another bank or retirement home in East Cobb! Send me a Burger king or fazolis with a Diet COKE! And don't tell that anonymous girl who freaked out about "Arby's Thinking Coke in 2018" ... She may put her crocs on backwards again! SMH ... POOR THING

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing, Sandy Springs City Council. You have a planning commission in place for a reason. What good are they if you just completely disregard their recommendations. I thought Sandy Springs was supposed to be progressive in their planning for better urban design. Apparently not.

And I cannot for the life of me understand why we need so many bank branches.

Anonymous said...

@12:50 Your post was incoherent, most likely due to the Diet Coke (akin to rat poisoning) that is destroying your brain cells. All cons drink up - the sooner the better.

@11:41 Planning commissions, city councils, etc. are government trying to do what is the best interest of all its citizens and yes too many banks are bad for the neighborhood. Banks are cons.

Anonymous said...

Lol. Crazy anonymous hillary again! Me better then you attitude! Correcting others ... Lol. Well guess what I got off your dang plantation along time ago and I'm free to live life as you sleep with one eye open watching your cheating husband! You'll never be happy and that gives me energy! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

^^ Who are you arguing with and why do you assume every anonymous is the same person just as you are anonymous yourself. The population is aging and there must be a need for more assisted living facilities or they won't build them. Same with banks. Stop drinking the sodas and kool-aid and stick to discussing the topic which is restaurants and retail. Have a lovely day!

Anonymous said...

Brick and mortar banks preferred by 87% of customers

http://fortune.com/2016/06/29/retail-banks/

Anonymous said...

Some of you seem to think if the bank's rezoning of the Wendy's site was denied, the ugly Wendy's would just close and go away. Not. Given a chance to replace it with a new bank branch, city council made the right decision. All the city can do is respond to app,ications. It cannot make anyone develop its property in any manner.

Anonymous said...

Really, another bank?? Who are we trying to get to move into this area anyway? great real eastate for something cool but we add another bank.

Anonymous said...

There is a consistent call for fazolis on this blog and I always wonder if it is the masses unifying to petition for fazolis or if the Voice is one person. If you are not into fine Italian dining then try something not as fine yet nice and Mediocre such as Maggiannos or less in carrabas or even less in Olive Garden - even try the new sbarros in the perimeter mall which is better than Fazolis. I do not think there is a market here for fazolis. When they were popular it was only in remote off the highway sleepy towns in southern and western America but didn't really have an Italian restaurant . Not even so much or as much in suburbs. I'm trying to figure out the appeal.

Anonymous said...

Fazolis announced August 2016 that it was opening up again in Snellville, as well as 20 more locations and yet none of that of those new locations has happened. In fact the original location in Lexington KY just closed in July as well as a few others in Kentucky shut its doors. If you want a Fazolis that badly then you'll need to pony up the $30K it takes to open up a franchise location. Corporate owned franchises are not opening up in a time when fast casual is imploding.

Anonymous said...

Demand for a BK not having it your way

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-26/burger-king-sales-slip-in-sign-it-s-losing-ground-in-burger-wars

Anonymous said...

Make America Hate Again. Make America Racist Again. Make America White Again. Make America Pollute Again. Make America an Oligarchy of the 1% Again

Anonymous said...

@ 11:15 Hello Hillary!