An agreement has been reached between the Edgartown National Bank and Ahold, the company that owns Stop and Shop stores. The bank’s branch office is now part of the revised plan that will expand the supermarket and redesign the space around it.
At a Dec. 6 planning board meeting, Ahold submitted plans that failed to include the Edgartown National Bank branch. Plans presented to the planning board on Jan. 3 include the bank, in a new location.
The bank’s lease at its present location expires in 2020. “Whatever issues we had have been worked out,” said bank president and CEO Fielding Moore in a phone interview with The Times on Monday, Jan. 9. “We support their expansion.”
The existing brick building was the first branch office built by Edgartown National Bank. According to Mr. Moore, who began working at the bank in November 2003, the branch was constructed in 1984. The new design for the supermarket parking lot includes moving an exit to line up with Parkhurst Road (next to Al’s Package Store) across Main Street. “Our building was in the way,” Mr. Moore said, “and we couldn’t really move it.”
The new bank building will require a larger footprint, which complicated siting it. Mr. Moore described the current basement in the branch: “There is a kitchen, and a place for employees to eat lunch down there.” Since the advent of the American Disabilities Act (ADA), this arrangement would no longer be allowed in a new building (the usage in the current building is grandfathered). Everything must be on one floor at the new building.
When the original branch was built, the bank owned the parcel in the western corner of the supermarket parking lot. They sold the property in 2000 to what was then A&P Supermarkets, and then leased it back from them. The lease was reaffirmed by Stop and Shop when it bought out A&P in 2003.
According to Mr. Moore, the bank never considered putting the branch office inside the new supermarket, which will be 16,000 square feet larger than the present store. “You still see that sometimes,” he said, “but it has not proven to work as well as banks thought it would.”
Greg O’Brien of the Brewster-based Stony Brook Group is a communications consultant for Stop and Shop. “The new [bank] building will be located near the present site,” he said. “It will be 1,000 square feet, with a two-lane drive-through.” Mr. O’Brien said that his client welcomed the bank, and that its absence from the December version of the supermarket expansion plan came about because “the bank was deciding what it wanted to do.” Rockland Trust acquired Edgartown National Bank in October 2016.
“This [negotiation] was nothing more than the routine,” said Mr. O’Brien. “We want to work with what the bank preferred.”
The Martha’s Vineyard Commission will now review the Stop and Shop expansion as a development of regional impact. Mr. O’Brien did not know when that would take place. “The commission sets those dates,” he said.
According to an email from Paul Foley, the MVC coordinator for developments of regional impact, to the Times, “We have not scheduled the LUPC [land use planning committee] or public hearing yet. I think we are going to have our staff-applicant meeting on Jan. 24, and will map out a likely schedule then.”