Thursday, August 1, 2019

[EXCLUSIVE] Chase Bank Looks to Cash in on Rite Aid Closure

A new branch of Chase Bank is being proposed for 891 Ponce de Leon Avenue, adjacent to Fellini's Pizza, on the site of a former Rite Aid.  The Rite Aid, a former Eckerd, closed earlier this year, along with hundreds of other locations nationwide, following Walgreens' purchase of 1,900 stores and subsequent "right sizing" of their overall store count.

The Ponce de Leon corridor is likely of interest to numerous banks given its renewed status as a desirable area in which to live, thanks in large part to Ponce City Market and subsequent commercial and multifamily development.  There are currently just two full service bank branches along Ponce de Leon Avenue between Highland Avenue and Peachtree Street: Bank of America and Fidelity Bank, now a division of Ameris Bank

New York City-based Chase Bank ended 2018 as Atlanta's ninth largest bank with about $5 billion in Georgia deposits and about 2% of the market.

For comparison's sake, Truist (the combined BB&T/SunTrust) ranks number one in the market with approximately 27% of the market and about $67 billion in Georgia deposits.  Additionally, before any reduction of branches due to overlap, Truist has 365 combined branches in Georgia compared to Chase and their 80 as of late 2018.

Chase intends to demolish the existing nearly 40,000 square foot freestanding pharmacy building in order to construct a new 3,470 square foot bank branch.  Planning documents indicate the parcel is just under one acre and that the bank's plans are being reviewed by the Atlanta BeltLine Design Review Committee.

The property is already zoned MRC-2-C meaning that a rezoning is probably unnecessary, but the likely needed drive-thru is not mentioned in the review documents.  

Ten years after entering the Georgia market, JPMorgan Chase this past September announced that it plans to add up to 25 new branches over the next three years.  The bank entered Georgia when it bought Washington Mutual in 2008.

ToNeTo Atlanta first reported late last year that Chase was also planning a new branch on Piedmont Avenue where Cowtippers closed, but to date there have been no permits filed.  

The disappointing part about Chase Bank's expansion in metro Atlanta and elsewhere is the lack of creativity and originality found in their current branches.  With the exception of those that were converted from other businesses, all Chase Bank buildings look the same and add little architecturally to the communities in which they are located. 

What are your thoughts on the proposed Chase Bank on Ponce de Leon Avenue?  If not a bank, what would you like to see open in place of the former Rite Aid?  Where do you do your primary banking?  

Please share your thoughts below  


Anonymous said...

Omg! Another ugly bank! Is fuqua behind this ugly design?

Unknown said...

I thought brick-and-mortar banks were dying breed.

Anonymous said...

People with MONEY use traditional banks frequently.

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