In a letter to customers last week, regional bank Chemung Canal Trust announced that their downtown branch and offices, located at 202 The Commons, will be shutting down. The property will be vacated by May 31st.

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According to  a letter from Vice President and Branch Manager Mark Kenjerska, the bank has been in negotiations for over a year on renewing its lease, which expired at the end of December 2015. The bank occupies 12,000 square feet on three floors of the seven-story office building, which was acquired from Bank of America in November 2013. However, negotiations “reached an impasse” and the decision was made to move out of the building.

“Our relocation from the Commons is not something we had anticipated. Like you, we anxiously awaited the completion of the two+ year Commons renovations project and eagerly participated in the re-opening celebrations last August. We had many positive exchanges with the landlord about our future expectations of the Commons branch and were optimistic about our lease negotiations, but we were just not able to reach mutually acceptable terms for our continued occupancy.”

No job losses are expected as a result of the closure – all employees are being given the opportunity to transfer to Chemung Canal Trust’s three other locations, 304 Elmira Road, 804 West Buffalo Street, and Community Corners in Cayuga Heights (909 Hanshaw Road).

The bank will be the second tenant to move out of the building in the past year. Local law firm Miller Mayer LLP relocated from the building to the Rothschild’s Building at 215 the Commons.

The National Savings Bank building was built in 1932 and renovated in 1966. County records indicate that major local landlord Jason Fane purchased the building in October 1996. Fane also picked up the vacant office building at 111 North Tioga Street (Bank Alley) and the drive-thru ATM on the corner of North Tioga and East Seneca Streets as part of the 1996 sale.

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Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.