April 20, 2014

Elyria
Intermittent clouds
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Shuttered First Place Bank donates property to Elyria

ELYRIA — The shuttered First Place Bank, which was not razed in the demolition of the old Elyria City Hall, which once was home to Sears department store, will be coming down after the Michigan-based bank agreed to demolish the building and donate the parcel of land to the city.

When 328 Broad St. was torn down earlier this year, it left a clean site city officials have been marketing to potential developers. But Mayor Holly Brinda said she learned there was one hitch in the plan to have a new business build on the site.

There was no parking area attached to the lot.

“We have gotten some serious inquires, but after they find out we don’t own the parking lot, they have generally said we can’t help them,” she said.

The rear parking area that belongs to the closed bank, which fronts Second Street, also was once the second home of Link’s Bakery and the old farm entrance to Sears. The city has been trying to get the property for several months to alleviate the parking issue, but it had not been successful until now.

Brinda said Monday that First Place Bank and Talmer Bank and Trust of Troy, Mich., subsidiaries of Talmer Bancorp Inc., have agreed to gift the land to the city.

“As partners in our downtown, they are very interested in plans to develop the area and are willing to contribute to those efforts,” she said. “It’s the hope that having a complete plot of land with parking from Broad Street to Second Street will (give) the area much a better location for development.”

Talmer Bancorp acquired First Place Bank in January for more than $200 million. Other Elyria locations include 200 Middle Ave., 111 Antioch Drive and 860 E. Broad St. Attempts to contact the bank for comment were unsuccessful.

City Council’s Community Development and Finance committees unanimously voted to accept the property donation.

Brinda said the bank building likely will come down this year.

“They have told us they are ready to act, and bids for the work have already gone out,” she said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

  • Lou White

    You want to revitalize downtown Elyria? Rip down all the buildings lining Broad St. and let businesses rebuild.