The face of banking is changing in Haverhill and causing a ripple effect in the region.
Pentucket Bank plans a full-service branch next to the Butcher Boy Plaza in North Andover. It will be Pentucket Bank’s sixth location and follows the opening last summer of its Stadium Branch next to St. John the Baptist Church on Lincoln Avenue in Haverhill.
The announcement comes just months after one of its prime competitors, Haverhill Bank, merged with a bank in Merrimac and has been expanding.
Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank announced in April that it plans to build its 16th branch office, this one in North Andover, also on busy Route 125.
Scott Cote, president and CEO of Pentucket Bank, said the site of the bank’s new branch in North Andover is one of the premiere retail locations in that community and is home to several well-known businesses, including Butcher Boy Market and Orzo’s Restaurant.
“We are pleased to be planning a new branch office that will provide greater convenience to customers in North Andover, Boxford, Andover and Bradford,” Cote said.
Sven Amirian, president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, said it’s a positive sign that in this economic climate a business can not only survive, but expand.
“It is encouraging to see a Haverhill-based business growing beyond our city borders,” Amirian said. “It is a clear message that Haverhill has the capacity to incubate busin
esses and support regional, statewide and even national expansion.”
Pentucket Bank plans to build the new branch at 1077 Osgood St., at the intersection of Routes 125 and 133. The branch will be next to Butcher Boy and will include two drive-in bays, drive-in and walk-up ATMs. Conference room and office space will be available to accommodate customers’ needs for special services such as mortgage and commercial lending and investments, Cote said. He told The Eagle-Tribune he expects the new branch to be open for business next summer.
William Yameen, president of landlord Angus Realty Corporation, said Pentucket Bank will be the latest addition to the business complex, named the Shops at Butcher Boy Marketplace.
“Our customers and the North Andover community will benefit from the services provided by a locally-owned and operated full-service bank,” Yameen said.
Last November, both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Massachusetts Division of Banks granted approval to the merger of Economy Co-operative Bank of Merrimac with Haverhill Bank. Economy Bank’s sole office in Merrimac began operating under the Haverhill Bank name in January. Haverhill Bank President and CEO Thomas Mortimer said benefits of the merger included a larger lending lim
it, job retention, convenience of additional bank branches and a drive-up ATM in Merrimac.
In June, the North Andover Planning Board approved a site plan review which cleared the way for Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank to build a branch at 498 Chickering Road, which is also Route 125, on a site that has been occupied by a Mobil station for the last several years. The vacant gas station will be torn down and the bank will construct a new building, Lowell 5 President David Wallace said. Wallace said he expects the new branch office to be open by the beginning of next year. Chickering Road is part of Route 125, where town leaders want to promote commercial development.
Angus Realty is seeking a variance from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals that would permit Pentucket Bank to build the branch office at 1077 Osgood St. A hearing before the board was scheduled for Aug. 14 but
was then postponed to Sept. 11. Construction of the new branch is subject to receiving full town approval, Cote said, noting he anticipates a groundbreaking this fall.
Attorney Thomas Smith of Lawrence, who represents Angus Realty, said the variance is needed because the property is within a watershed protection overlay district. Butcher Boy Plaza is several hundred yards from Lake Cochichewick, North Andover’s water supply. Smith said Angus Realty will also need to win approvals from the Planning Board and Conservation Commission.
Pentucket Bank’s main branch is at 1 Merrimack St. in Haverhill. It also has branches at 120 Lincoln Ave. and 395 Lowell Ave., as well as branches in Hampstead and Salem, N.H.
Established in 1891, Pentucket Bank is a mutually owned community bank with assets of $640 million. Haverhill Bank, a depositor-owned institution with $284 million in assets, was founded in 1877 and is the oldest cooperativ
e bank in Massachusetts. The Lowell 5, founded in 1854, has approximately $810 million