If you can’t beat ’em, bank on ’em. Each week, Chris Shott of Counter Espionage and Shott on Location acclaim will mark the city’s banking boom by highlighting new additions to its burgeoning corner-branch population.
For years, the bucolic boutique-lined streets of Boerum Hill went untouched by the banking industry’s ravenous real-estate appetite.
Not anymore: Astoria-based Marathon Bank of New York, a U.S. subsidiary of the Piraeus Bank of Greece, opened its 14th area branch there on Friday morning–occupying not one but two connected storefronts with separate entrances on Atlantic Avenue and Bond Street.
“Senior management really wanted to have the first bank in the area,” said Zoe Koutsoupakis, Marathon’s senior vice president, who added that the 2,187-square-foot location provides ample space for meetings with loan applicants. (The bank specializes in mid-size commercial and construction loans, she explained.)
The new Marathon’s nearest full-service banking competitor is a Chase branch on Flatbush Avenue–a location which neighborhood broker James Crow described as “a schlepp.”
Still, Mr. Crow, who works across the street from the new Marathon, suggested that locals weren’t struggling for lack of cash, given the number of nearby corner stores with their own ATMs.
Yet Marathon’s ATM charges a withdrawl fee of only $1.50–a whopping 25 cents less than the two corner stores directly across Atlantic.
“We’re a very competitive bank, let’s put it that way,” said Ms. Koutsoupakis.
– Chris Shott