The owner of the Mystic Autobank property at 4 Williams Ave. in Mystic has put the Bank of America branch there on the market for $1,393,260, and the bank said its branch at 54 W. Main St. on the Groton side of Mystic would also be sold. Bank of America told its customers last week that both locations would close as of May 15.
After that date, the bank said in a letter announcing the closures, customers from Mystic could take their business to Bank of America branches in Westerly and Groton.
The bank’s announcement comes at a time when its Mystic branches have increased their share of deposits in the local market. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s annual Deposit Market Share Report, Bank of America, which had trailed Chelsea Groton Savings Bank for at least five years, moved into the No. 1 spot in 2017 in Mystic.
In the FDIC tabulation released last October, BOA’s Mystic locations were home to nearly $120 million in deposits, accounting for a 23.5 percent share; Chelsea Groton trailed with $110 million in deposits. That was a turnabout from 2016, when Bank of America reported $74.2 million in deposits (Chelsea Groton stood at $101.6 million at the end of June in 2016).
Going back to 2012, Bank of America has nearly doubled its deposits in Mystic and has gained 8 percentage points in market share. But deposits are only one component of the business, and a corporate spokeswoman, speaking to The Day newspaper in New London, cited the same factor that Citizens Bank did when it announced the closing of its Pawcatuck branch in 2016: the increasing popularity of mobile and online banking.
When Citizens Bank pulled out of Pawcatuck, it left a downtown building at 46 West Broad St. that has not been used since April 2016. In Mystic, residents have expressed hope that the same fate would not befall the building owned by Bank of America at 54 W. Main St. The classic-looking structure is owned by the bank. It was built in 1930 and sits on a quarter-acre lot.
The Town of Groton lists the Main Street property as having a total value of $840,100 and a gross assessment of $588,070. On the Stonington side, the 600-square-foot autobank, a newer structure owned by Shoreline Branches LLC of Farmington, Conn., is assessed at $640,100. It has been listed for sale by EXP Realty Advisors of New York City.
EXP notes that the autobank, sited on a half-acre lot, “has had a successful history, having been operated by a bank for more than 35 years.”
The former Citizens Bank, meanwhile, is listed for $825,000. The owner is named in the town property records as ARC CBSTNCT002 LLC, registered as seated in Phoenix. It bought the property for $1.1 million in 2012.