As Bank Branches Shrink, Closures Cause Shopping Centers to Rethink How Real Estate Space is Filled
By Natalie Kostelni
A little more than 10 years ago, Lower Providence got a rare chance to redefine a prominent intersection at Pawlings and Egypt Roads. The construction of a 4,100-squre foot Commerce Bank would anchor a corner and replace a handful of rundown houses.
By the summer of 2007, Commerce Bank opened to much fanfare. It was designed to borrow some of the design elements of a nearby historic fieldstone house and positioned back from the intersection so an old-fashioned clock tower, bench and sidewalks could be installed to give it prominence and a sense that it was long part of the community.
Such is the fate of bank branches in 2017.
Once a tried-and-true tenant of shopping centers, particularly on separate pad sites, and high-profile corners in communities, this common face of big and small financial institutions has lost some of its luster. Already thousands of branches have shuttered and more are expected to go dark.