The owners of the former Post Office building at Park and Pine Streets, most recently home to Mrs. Green’s grocery store, have applied to the town to allow for the prominent structure to be used as a bank.
The owners of 2 Pine St. have entered into lease negotiations with Bank of America Corporation/Merrill Lynch to take over the space, according to an application filed Oct. 1 with Planning & Zoning.
“In connection with the change of use to a bank, relatively minor changes to the building as detailed on the plans submitted herewith are planned which will result in a more elegant looking structure,” said a site plan statement filed on behalf of the property owners by attorney Steve Finn, a partner at Stamford-based Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky.
The 6,320-square-foot property “is located at the corner of two highly visible gateways to downtown, Pine and Park Streets,” Finn said in the site plan statement. “The applicant respectfully submits that a vacancy at this address reflects poorly on the perceived commercial vitality of downtown New Canaan and the longer this particular building goes unoccupied, the more likely the adverse consequences.”
The commercial building served as the U.S. Postal Service office in New Canaan for nearly 60 years. Mrs. Green’s opened there in April 2014 and closed after about two-and-a-half years.
It’s located in the Business A zone. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, properties in the zone may be used as banks with site plan approval from P&Z (see page 78).
Bank of America Corporation/Merrill Lynch currently operates out of a building on the corner of Park and Cherry Streets, catty-corner to the former Post Office.
According to Finn, in changing the building’s use to a bank, “relatively minor changes to the building as detailed on the plans submitted herewith are planned which will result in a more elegant looking structure.”
“The facade improvements echo design elements from 22 Pine St. and 121 Park St. (also owned by the applicant), which were approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission in recent years,” he said in the Oct. 1 application.
Using the building as a bank is expected to require far less parking than its previous uses as a post office, beauty salon and grocery store, Finn said in the application.
“Those three uses result in frequent visitors to the building on an order significantly greater than a bank,” he said. “In this age of computers, a significant amount of banking is done remotely without the need to travel to a physical location.”
Further, Finn said, no addition parking is required under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations in changing the use of the building from a “green grocer” to a bank.
The Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled to meet at 7p.m. Tuesday.
The application for 2 Pine St. comes as an attorney representing a different property owner on Pine Street applies to P&Z to allow first-floor offices throughout the Business A zone.