It has taken Citizens Bank almost three years to satisfy zoning laws and Lower Merion Township officials in order to build a new bank in Bryn Mawr. Construction has begun in the 700 block of West Lancaster Avenue, even as Citizens Bank announced the closure of nine other Philadelphia locations.

A Dunkin’ Donuts sat empty for well over two years on the lot where the new bank now is being built. After jumping through several hoops for the real estate, Citizens Bank received the approval of a development plan for the property in 2009. Lower Merion land use approvals preceded the plan’s approval, a process that took about a year.

An initial proposal by the bank was to reuse the Dunkin’ Donuts building, which was situated at the rear of the property. Available parking was at the front. Zoning issues cropped up over the bank’s plans for drive-through windows.

Township officials encourage bank officials to demolish the structure and move the bank closer to the street. The move aligned with proposed Bryn Mawr Village Zoning District changes. The bank’s building plan did not have to comply with the potential zoning amendment, but the township was nudging Citizens Bank to adhere to it.

Eventually the bank agreed to get rid of the Dunkin’ Donuts building and move the new bank branch closer to the site front and parking to the back side. The plan also solved bank car congestion problems by creating a one-way in, one-way out traffic setup.

The new Citizens Bank will open sometime before next summer.

Source: mainlinesmedianews.com, “Dunkin’ Donuts gone, new bank branch rising in Bryn Mawr,” Cheryl Allison, Nov. 29, 2011