Brunswick board OKs bank building on site of 2011 fire

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BRUNSWICK — After sitting vacant for more than four years, an empty lot at 45 Maine St. is getting a new building.

The Planning Board on Tuesday approved plans for a new Bangor Savings Bank to fill the spot at the corner of Maine and Mason streets. A historic building there burned down in a three-alarm fire in 2011.

The site plans, proposed by CJ Properties of Freeport, call for a 3,700-square-foot, one-story building with a two-vehicle drive-through.

The applicant also purchased the abutting property at 11 Mason St., which formerly housed Blessings Home & Design. That store has since moved to Fort Andross.

The Mason Street structure will be demolished to accommodate the bank’s 15-space parking lot.

The area of the combined lots is just under 20,000 square feet and, since the fire, comprises just less than 17,000 square feet of developed gravel.

According to the application, the construction of the bank and its landscaping will reduce unvegetated areas to just under 15,000 square feet.

Director of Public Works John Foster signed off on the applicant’s stormwater management system, according to the development application.

Before going to the planning board, the applicant secured two conditionally approved “certificates of appropriateness” for demolition and new construction from the Village Review Board.

The VRB approved the new construction on the condition that the drive-through roofline is “redesigned to be lighter in overall appearance.”

David Latulippe, of CJ Properties, presented the new design to the Planning Board Tuesday. According to Latulippe, a triangular roof design was swapped for a curved one, which better matched the building’s Mason Street entrance.

“In the end we got a better building,” he said. “We were happy with that process.”

The question they were always seeking to address when designing the building, he said, was “how can we extend Maine Street … (and) bring that missing tooth back to life?”

Other design features are solar panel awnings on the south and southwest-facing roofs, and native vegetation landscaping.

Members of the Planning board said they are pleased with the designs presented.

“Bangor Savings, welcome to Brunswick,” Chairman Charlie Frizzle said.

After the meeting, Latulippe said the bank plans to start construction in the first or second week of November.

The new branch is expected to open by May 1, 2016.

Walter Wuthmann can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow Walter on Twitter: @wwuthmann.

A sketch of the Bangor Savings Bank branch planned for downtown Brunswick at 45 Maine St.

Brunswick/Harpswell reporter for The Forecaster. Bowdoin College grad, San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow for municipal, school, community, and environmental news from the Midcoast.
  • Chew H Bird

    I will be curious to see how in and out access works… That intersection simply jams up and doesn’t move during peak traffic periods and from June to September… I have real questions about traffic at that location…

  • poppypapa

    The parking will have to work itself out. Brunswick is simply desperate for another bank! And you can take that to the bank. I’m tired of only having what…a dozen or more Credit Unions and banks to choose from? How can a community thrive with so few?

    “Bank on Brunswick” could be the new BDA slogan.

    Seriously, that general intersection hosts some of the stupidest driving moves on a regular basis. I’m surprised there aren’t at least a couple of accidents a week. Sudden, silly lane changes, merges, etc, are continuous.

  • farmertom2

    Well, better than a vacant lot, but a bank? Brunswick doesn’t have enough banks already? Ah… whatever.