By Mark Scheer
Niagara Gazette — There will soon be one less banking option in downtown Niagara Falls.
The Bank of America has informed customers that it plans to close its branch located at 418 Third St. early next year.
J.T. Crawford, a spokesperson with Bank of America's corporate office, confirmed customers were informed of the decision in letters delivered in late July. He said the Third Street branch will officially shut its doors on Jan. 24, 2014.
Crawford said Bank of America made the decision after a review of its operations in the area. He said the company determined that it could continue to provide ample service to its customers in the Falls area through its other two locations, including a branch at 1900 Pine Ave. and one at 1236 Military Road.
"Based on foot traffic and other metrics, we determined that we can continue to effectively serve our customers with one less branch in Niagara Falls," Crawford said.
Bank of America leased space inside the Third Street branch building, which is owned by a Williamsville company called 418 Third Street Associates.
The property has served as home to numerous banking institutions for more than a century. The first was the Niagara County Savings Bank, established Jan. 1, 1890, two years before the state Legislature granted the city of Niagara Falls its charter of incorporation.
In addition to serving as the savings bank regional headquarters, the building also had several tenants over the years including the law offices of Orr, Brydges & Orr, a leading law firm in the Cataract City.
In 1985, Niagara County Savings merged with Liberty-Nortstar and Norstar became part of the Fleet Bank in 1995.