Aloha Also Means Goodbye for Bank in Trader Joe’s Way

Local politicos sporting Hawaiian shirts paraded down Court Street today to the tune of a steel drum band in celebration of grocery chain Trader Joe's forthcoming arrival in Brooklyn.

See our previous coverage here.

Among the few not dressed for the faux luau: Michael Armstrong, vice president and PR manager for Sovereign Bank, which presently occupies the soon-to-be Joe's site at Court and Atlantic Avenues.

To Mr. Armstrong, also former editor of the now-defunct Brooklyn weekly Phoenix newspaper, the day seemed "bittersweet" after the hugely hyped parade and press conference.

On July 20, Sovereign staffers officially vacate the spacious historic stone building with its towering ceiling, ginormous windows, antique chandeliers, and profound echo — formerly the headquarters of Independence Community Bank, which has Brooklyn roots dating back to 1850 — and head into a more confined, roughly 4,000-square-foot, and all-too-usual-looking ground-level retail space across the street.

Sovereign — which last year sold the bank to developers Jed and David Walentas' Two Trees Management, which is also the bank's new landlord across the street — is hosting an open house next Wednesday evening, July 18, to commemorate the move, featuring refreshments and an exhibit on Brooklyn banking history.