Downtown bank branch set to close

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Berkshire Bank, of Pittsfield, Mass., has petitioned to close its branch office at 100 W. Dominick St., site of the former Rome Savings Bank, and consolidate its operations into the office located at 1629 Black River Blvd.

The West Dominick Street branch is expected to be closed by April 30.

“We regularly evaluate our branch network to ensure we are delivering our services in a manner that aligns with our customers’ preferences and expectations. While it is never easy to close one of our locations, we have decided to consolidate our West Dominick Street branch in Rome with our Black River Boulevard branch, which is approximately two miles away,” said Brian Sullivan, senior vice-president of Retail Branch Banking at Berkshire Bank. “The 1300 Erie Boulevard branch is also nearby and approximately the same distance away. Berkshire Bank is planning to maintain our full service ATM at 139 W. Dominick St.”

Sullivan said Berkshire is communicating with customers who could be impacted by the consolidation, as well as employees at the other Rome branch locations to ensure a “seamless transition.”

“We are also working closely with our team members at the West Dominick Street branch to review career opportunities within the bank and transition them to other positions,” he said. “We have a strong track record of retaining team members who have previously been impacted by consolidation.” 

Asked about the branch closing, Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said she and the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce were unaware of the decision. The mayor did say she was knowledgeable that the four-clock tower property was beginning to crumble. Over the summer, Berkshire had an architectural engineer come inspect the tower and gave an estimate of $15,000 to repair, she said. Izzo noted that Berkshire officials said they were not interested in making the needed repairs to the building.

Because the branch sits on private property, “We’re willing to work with anyone the bank designates,” whether it be to assist real estate agents or a new buyer,” said Izzo. Berkshire “also owns the building directly across the street, which houses the chamber offices, and that has been on the market for some time.”

Asked if there was interest in using the building to maintain the nearby arts corridor, Izzo mentioned that “it’s a large building” and perhaps it would also make a good location for a technological firm or company.

“I’m sure there will be options,” she said.

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