August 27, 2020
First Niagara Turnkey Development
New Hartford, New York
First Niagara, formerly Homestead Bank, had just gone through a brand evolution and was looking for a site to build a new flagship branch. Targeting a specific area in New Hartford, this was their first new development in 50 years. First Niagara turned to Brian Gaetano to find the ideal location and develop the perfect design plan to project their new image of an upscale community bank.
When looking for a new location, visibility and accessibility were key selection criteria. It was important to management that the new location was easy for banking customer to get to. It was also important that the location was in close proximity to other daily activities of its customers and easily accessible by public and private transportation.
Initially, the bank was interested in a location in front of the newly renovated Hannaford Shopping Center on Kellogg Road. However, this location needed a variance because of the tight parking ratio that was later denied. Alternative sites were turned down because they lacked the necessary visibility and customer accessibility.
Knowing that the zoning for the three small houses across the street had just changed from residential to commercial, Brian Gaetano negotiated an option to purchase the three sites. Combined, this location offered the great visibility and customer accessibility the bank was looking for.
Working with an architect, Brian Gaetano created a conceptual building and layout that maximized site efficiencies and included a 5,000-square-foot branch with parking and a drive-thru.
Working within a tight timeframe to meet the bank’s needs, from the initial site selection to building completion, the new branch was ready to welcome customers in nine months.
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