Citizens Bank presented their petition at the September Neighborhood Council meeting for a conditional use permit for a bank and ATM at 198 Hanover Street, taking over the middle storefront of Charter Realty’s Cross Street building.
The council voted 4-1 in opposition to Citizens Bank.
Council members and meeting attendees had concerns about what the property will look like, who the other tenants will be, and Charter Realty’s intentions with the Cross Street plaza overall, following their recent strongly contested Starbucks proposal.
Watch the full presentation from the meeting and follow along with the timeline below.
(1:26) The council questions the design of the overall structure. Samantha Burgner, who presented on behalf of Citizens Bank, explains she is here to talk about the bank, not the whole Charter Realty building (which comprises three storefronts).
The renderings below were provided to show the design of the bank. There would be an ATM, bank with offices and a mezzanine (click to enlarge).
(4:24) Council President John Pregmon points out that Citizens Bank is also a chain, and although there is often relief for a bank as it’s considered an essential service, residents did reach out in opposition about this.
(4:46) Maria Lanza from the Mayor’s Office reminds attendees that there was an abutters meeting in June and no one had concerns about a Citizens Bank going into this location. There are issues with the design of the building, but the question here is whether or not a bank should occupy that space.
(6:12) The council asks about security at Citizens Bank. There would be 24-hour cameras. There would not be armored guards. Offices within the branch would have alert systems that notify back to security. The vestibule would have a Parabit reader separate from the branch entrance.
(8:00) The regional manager for Citizens Bank talks about police surveillance that travels to banks in the area to make sure there are no homeless people sleeping at the vestibules.
(8:36) George Jabour representing Angie Romano of Romano Florist raises questions about a lack of clarity from Charter Realty and his concerns about the mezzanine level.
(12:12) Samantha clarifies that this would be a relocation of the current Citizens Bank to the 198 Hanover St. property, freeing up a storefront for another business at their current location.
(14:16) The question of the new branch taking over more space is raised. The existing branch is actually larger than the new location, but the new location would have a larger storefront.
(15:44) The council questions whether they have enough information to vote on this item. President Pregmon decides they will vote specifically on if the Citizens Bank should occupy this space, reiterating that it’s on record that the council opposed the building design.
(19:00) Attendees question why Charter Realty was not present at the meeting. Samantha said a representative would be at the Residents’ Association (NEWRA) meeting this Thursday, September 13, when the proposal is presented to NEWRA.