Will the outcry for a bank in the Van Nest area finally be answered?
In response to numerous requests from the local residents and merchants of Van Nest, Senator Jeff Klein held a meeting on Tuesday, August 11 to discuss the prospect of bringing a much-needed branch into the area.
For years, the Morris Park Alliance and Community Board 11 have been pushing to bring a bank to service the need to customers and residents, as well as hoping to attract more businesses and foot traffic to the district.
“That area has nothing and now they may lose the Post Office. Having a bank sends a signal to businesses that this is a viable community, plus it is a service and benefit to residents,” said John Fratta, district manger of CB11.
“They have the right to go to a bank to cash their checks and do their banking.”
According to Robert Ruggerio, president of the Morris Park Alliance, this area has been underserved for years, forcing merchants to travel outside the area to complete their banking.
The meeting brought together representatives from the Morris Park Alliance, the Bronx Business Alliance and the NYS Banking Department, to discuss the feasibility of opening a branch in the area.
According to Klein, the NYS Banking Department is considering a Banking Development District to provide incentives for a branch that will open in the underserved community.
“We have the Banking Department examining this area for a BDD right now,” said Klein. “What we need now is a bank to commit to this community in order for the process to go forward. For years, Van Nest hasn’t received its fair share, that’s why I’m fighting hard to get a bank in this area and put this community back on the map.”
Klein will continue to speak with banks to get the initial commitment before assessing any possibly locations, but hopes to see things moving over the next several months.
Bernadette Ferrara, local resident and CB11 member explained help in the matter is important for all the seniors that have difficultly traveling to other neighborhoods to find the nearest bank.
“I am so happy Klein had this on his agenda and I am ecstatic because this means at least we are going in the right direction,” said Ferrara. “My parents are seniors here and there is a large elderly population, so there is definitely a need for this service in the community.”