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Regions Bank plans new branch
New location will be on E.E. Butler Parkway
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Regions Bank will soon build a new branch on E.E. Butler Parkway.

The one-story location will go in place of Gainesville's old Municipal Court building between Brenau Avenue and Washington Street.

"The site is in the process of demolition, which has fallen a little behind schedule due to weather and other circumstances," said Matt Tate, the city's planning manager.

Construction will likely start in March, added planning director Rusty Ligon.

"Based on the age of the building, there was probably asbestos, which has to be abated," he said.

"Demolition crews must notify the state and remove it appropriately, and then they can tear the building down. It'll take three weeks to do that, and then construction will start."

The bank facility will include about 7,000 square feet of space, a drive-thru window and an ATM area with access from Washington Street and Brenau Avenue.

"Originally, construction was scheduled to be complete in March, but now it may be around July," Tate said Tuesday. "We've approved plans for the development of the site and reviewed the permit for land disturbance."

At the March 8 planning and appeals board meeting, the bank will ask for a variance request on the property for its sign.

"In an office and industrial zone, only ground-lit signs are allowed," Tate said. "They will seek to vary that standard next month."

Regions Bank representatives did not return calls Tuesday, but Tate said the new branch is part of the "restructuring" of the bank in downtown Gainesville.

In September, a group of private investors formed Green Street LLC to purchase the Regions Bank building at 111 Green St. for $1.5 million.

At that time, the group planned to lease out parts of the building not being used by the bank.

"When we learned that the building was available, we saw an opportunity to put some office space into play that would be affordable in the downtown area," Jim Walters, president of Walters Management Co. and a member of Green Street LLC, said in September.

"The building lends itself more to professional folks. We think that's the best use for it."

Gainesville officials continue to look for ways to redevelop the downtown and midtown areas. After the new public safety building opened on Queen City Parkway, crews began to demolish the old public safety building to make way for a pedestrian bridge and the old courtroom to make space for the bank.

"It's neat to see the impacts of the public safety facility being built," Tate said. "With the demolition for the pedestrian bridge and now this site construction, it's neat to see how that has positively impacted these properties for redevelopment."


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