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Normal agrees to pay for bank site changes

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NORMAL — Construction of a new Main Street Bank and Trust is expected to begin shortly now that some changes have been made to accommodate the bank on the tight space that was formerly the site of the Broadway Mall.

Those changes will come at a cost to the town, which owns the property and has an agreement to lease it to developer Jeff Tinervin.

The City Council learned Tuesday that the town needs to pay about $29,500 to build a retaining wall on the south side to protect the nearby Guitar World from potential damage during the bank’s construction.

In addition, the bank building had to be moved 4 feet west to allow access to a driveway that runs behind Guitar World, Jake’s Pizza and The Movie Fan. The change will require sidewalks to be rebuilt, relocation of some underground utilities and construction of a larger retaining wall along Broadway — a cost of about $166,000.

Tinervin will pay about $50,000; the council agreed to pay the rest.

“It looks like we’re trying to put a round peg in a square hole,” said Councilman Parker Lawlis. “The building is expanding a little on the sidewalk here and the sidewalk there. An alternative would be to reduce the size of the building.”

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But City Manager Mark Peterson said the bank has to be a certain size to meet the bank’s needs.

Lawlis also questioned why the town is responsible for picking up the cost of the retaining wall to the south.

“Originally, the town was to provide the site in buildable condition,” he said. “The site was buildable when there was a building there. Now we’re asked to do a retaining wall and street work.”

Peterson said the project’s engineers, Farnsworth Group, said the wall was needed to be able to construct the bank. “It’s a necessary structure,” Peterson said, and therefore part of making the site buildable.

Lawlis also criticized the bank’s parking that will require vehicles to back up on the sidewalk and others to exit onto College Avenue.

While Peterson said the town’s goal is to keep as much separation as possible between a sidewalk and driveway, building in an urban area does not always allow that to happen.

Main Street Bank and Trust was formerly at the corner of Broadway and Beaufort Street — property needed for the new Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. The bank agreed to sell the town the property, but wanted another downtown site for the branch.


At a glance

What does this mean to you?

Construction of the new Main Street Bank and Trust should start soon, but some changes will cost the town about $147,000.

Background

The project has been delayed while engineers tried to fit the building to the site.

How they voted?

4-1; Councilman Parker Lawlis voted no; Councilwomen Cheryl Gaines and Sonja Reece were absent.

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