The city of Newton is considering a one year ban on new bank branches which Newton economic development officials tell the Tab “cut down on the diversity and foot traffic in the city’s business areas.”
“For many years the CDC and other city bodies have expressed concern over the ever increasing number of bank branches that keep opening in our business districts,” said the commission’s chairman Christ Steele in a letter to the Board of Aldermen.
“Demographics make them come, and the ability to pay high rents (as well as lenient parking requirements make them desirable tenants. Unfortunately, too many banks have a negative impact on our village centers. They tend to drive out other users, decreasing the variety and the ability of other types of stores and services. As destination locations, they generate little synergy or spin-off and nothing to enliven the village centers at night.”
All of which might come as a surprise to TD Bank. Billed as “America’s Most Convenient Bank”, TD has recently built a new branch in Brighton and is currently constructing another at the corner of Harvard and Commonwealth steps from our office in Allston following a green building initiative.
It must be nice to be able to afford deflated commercial property values and reduced tax payments?
We also question the wisdom of TD Bank or any bank on a building binge, not from a economic development perspective but due to a larger trend. Hasn’t anyone at TD heard of Google wallet? Who will be going in person to a bank ten years from now?