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BankAtlantic aims to replace Park Auto Mall

The branch would be "a drastic improvement to what's there, " a city official says.

By ANNE LINDBERG
Published May 6, 2007


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SEMINOLE - This city could become home to a bank building that might set the architectural style for all of the bank's other branches.

BankAtlantic has submitted a plan that, if approved by the Seminole City Council, would sit at one of the city's gateway intersections.

The bank would replace Park Auto Mall, with its rotating car, at the northwest corner of Park and Seminole boulevards.

"It's going to be a drastic improvement to what's there, " said Mark Ely, Seminole's director of community development. "It's an opportunity to clean up a corner."

Plans submitted to the city show a 4, 545-square-foot building with a broken roof line and 22 windows in addition to the glass doors. There will be three drive-through lanes and a drive-up ATM.

It is one of the prototypes the bank will use for buildings elsewhere in the state, said Agustin Amaro, the BankAtlantic official who is working with the city on the project.

One unusual aspect of the proposed building is the drainage. Rather than build a retention pond, BankAtlantic plans to put the drainage underground, which Ely called "very, very environmentally friendly." Proposed landscaping includes magnolias, live oaks and sabal palms.

Before gaining city approval, bank officials will have to negotiate with City Manager Frank Edmunds for a development agreement that will allow them 38 parking spaces, double the 19 allowed by city code.

It is unclear what concessions Edmunds might want in exchange for the increased parking.

After any agreement is worked out, the contract and site plan will have to obtain City Council approval.

BankAtlantic was founded in 1952 in Fort Lauderdale. It now has more than 80 branches and is one of the largest financial institutions based in Florida.

The bank is open seven days a week, and some branches are open until midnight.

[Last modified May 5, 2007, 18:45:52]


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