SunTrust Bank has begun notifying customers it will close its Cleveland Ocoee Street branch.
However, the move of a major downtown business is not being taken by local boosters as a hit on the historic area’s potential.
Letters have been sent stating the branch’s final day of business at 93 North Ocoee Street will be Friday, April 11. It will close for the last time at 2 p.m. that afternoon.
Michael McCoy, a spokesman for SunTrust, said the company must “constantly refine its branch network to meet the changing needs and transaction patterns of clients.”
He said the bank is continually evaluating its delivery channels, including its branch network.
“The opening and closing of branches has become a natural part of ensuring that SunTrust is able to maximize market opportunities and meet the needs of its clients in an efficient and effective manner,” McCoy said.
He said the bank’s customers will continue to have access to their accounts through the bank’s other branches as well as its ATMs, telephone banking service, and online and mobile banking.
McCoy said SunTrust plans to sell the property after the branch closes.
The process of finding a new owner and tenant for a major downtown facility poses both challenges and opportunities for local economic development.
Doug Berry, vice president of economic development for the Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce, said local economic boards stand prepared to assist in making sure the area remains a vibrant one for business.
Berry serves on the board of MainStreet Cleveland which takes a leading role in the economic development of downtown.
Berry said that body is interested in what might follow SunTrust into the corner building.
“I’m extremely interested in what will go into the SunTrust building, and want to help make sure it’s consistent with our strategic plans for ensuring a healthy business atmosphere within the downtown Cleveland area,” Berry said.
He said one of the positives the building provides that it has been well maintained.
“I think such a significant building presents a significant opportunity,” Berry said.