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Medway Co-op Bank to Build New Branch in Mendon

Nov 30, 2005, Medway, MA

Dear Mendon Residents:
 
I am a fellow resident of Mendon and President of the Medway Co-operative Bank. As you may be aware, Medway Coop is presently going through the permitting process to build a new facility at One Hastings Street, the current location of the Century 21 Millennium office, owned by Judy Leonelli.
 
We know that some people in town are concerned about the fate of the existing building on site. This location is the eastern gateway to the Town of Mendon and the building sitting on that site makes an important statement to residents and visitors alike.   In order to avoid any misinformation or confusion surrounding our applications, I’d like to take this opportunity to share our plans with you.
 
No one is more concerned with a community’s image, history and success than a co-operative bank. Our success as an organization is tied directly to the health of the community and the support of its residents.  For ninety years we have worked hard to earn the trust and loyalty of the people of Medway, and you have our promise to bring that same commitment of service and community support to the Town of Mendon.
 
When we first met with Judy to discuss the location, it was our hope to use the existing building in some way.  Unfortunately, the building is in need of extensive renovation for continued operation and after analysis, it was determined that it was simply not economically or aesthetically feasible to incorporate the existing structure into our plans.
 
In addition to a number of structural, HVAC, utility, communications, technology, handicap accessibility and security issues, the major problems with the structure came down to size and design.  The footprint of the building is roughly 1,700 sq. ft. of which approximately 700 sq. ft. is an addition built over a crawl space that was added some time after the main building was constructed.  This addition has a 6’10”ceiling and is not usable in a commercial reconstruction.  That leaves a 1,000 sq. ft. footprint to work with. The remaining building is comprised of small rooms with weight bearing walls, narrow doors and stairways, old windows, horsehair plaster, etc.  
 
The bank needs roughly 3,800 sq. ft. of open span, first floor space for operations.  Judy will lease 1,000 sq. ft. to run her real estate business. Another 1,000+ sq. ft. of space is needed for common areas, storage, handicap accessible bathrooms, lunchrooms, etc.   The total minimum space requirements to make the project feasible are in the 6,000+ sq. ft. range.  Our architect and engineers advised that even if we invested the time and money to try and save part of the structure, the resulting design would be severely compromised and would not resemble the existing building.  Given the need to balance the building’s appearance, with the 3,800 sp. ft. ground floor, our final design comes in at 7,300 sq. ft.
 
If our plans are approved as submitted, we will build a two story, handicapped accessible, Colonial Style brick and clapboard building designed to preserve the New England Village “feel” that we all have come to admire as we drive down Hastings Street. The height and setbacks of the new structure will be approximately the same as the existing building and the overall scale of the project will blend nicely into the area. Existing stonewalls and all healthy specimen trees will be retained.  The building will include a community meeting room available during both business and non-business hours for local groups. When complete, our building will resemble a beautifully landscaped colonial style home. Instead of a two-car garage, there will be a drive-up.
 
As part of the permitting process the Town commissioned an engineering traffic study, which concluded that the bank would have no discernible impact on traffic now, or in the future.  
 
Eight years ago we built a new headquarters building in Medway with similar concerns expressed over the development of a site that housed an antique farmhouse, barn and beautiful Catalpa and Maple trees.  The house was moved to Village St. and the barn was moved to Upton.  Both are restored and enjoyed by their new owners.  Since the day we opened our Medway facility, town boards and residents alike have referenced it as the design standard for future commercial development within the community. I urge you to visit us at 70 Main Street in Medway to judge for yourself.   
 
Pictures of our home office as well as plans and elevation sketches of the proposed Mendon facility are available for your viewing at www.medwaycoopbank.com.  We are confident that when you compare the quality of our existing facility with the proposed plans you will have a true feel for the commitment and investment we are ready to make in the Town of Mendon.
 
As a resident of your town, I’m committed to building a facility that will become a source of pride for the community and a fitting gateway to the future visitors of Mendon and the Blackstone Valley.  At this time, the highest and best use of commercially zoned property in a location such as 1 Hastings Street is retail development, and I would hate to see this opportunity lost in favor of another legally allowable use under our zoning laws such as a fast food restaurant, gas station, pub or convenience store.  
 
Medway Co-operative Bank is hopeful of soon becoming a contributing member of the Mendon Community. Thanks for taking the time to read this and please feel free to call me anytime with questions or comments at 508 533-8661.


Sincerely,


Jack Hamilton
President &CEO
Medway Co-operative Bank