Community Bank moves forward with expansion for Arsenal Street branch

Plans are moving forward for a small expansion at the Community Bank N.A. on Arsenal Street that will accommodate relocating employees of the former HSBC branch on the north side of the street when that office closes.

The city’s Planning Board approved a waiver for the site plan for the two small additions, totaling 1,050 square feet, at the Community Bank branch, 1125 Arsenal St., in the plaza where Raymour & Flanigan operates a store.

One addition at one end of the bank will house more office space for relocated employees, and the other will be for new drive-up and ATM lanes to accommodate the additional customers, Community Bank Facilities Manager Chuck Foster said after the vote. Plans call for a pitched instead of flat roof.

He said the expansion was planned before Community Bank acquired 16 upstate branches from HSBC this summer but became larger as a result of the merger. Since then, the former HSBC branch at 1218 Arsenal St. has remained open as a Community Bank.

Mr. Foster was unable to say when the former HSBC branch would close or how many employees it will affect, referring all questions to Harold Wentworth, Community Bank’s senior vice president/director of sales/marketing. Mr. Wentworth could not be reached.

Work is slated to start in May and take about four months, Mr. Foster said.

Before the waiver was approved, Mr. Foster and Planning Board members ironed out a landscaping agreement that will include planting about five ornamental trees on the western side of the property and along Arsenal Street.

-Craig Fox, Watertown Daily Times staff writer