A Bank of America branch will open soon at 386 Knickerbocker Avenue, taking space from the once-massive Party Fair store. Photo by Devvon Simpson for BushwickBK
The nation’s largest bank is coming to Bushwick.
Bank of America is set to open a branch this spring – WikiLeaks rumors be damned – at 386 Knickerbocker Avenue at Stanhope Street, in the center of Bushwick’s most bustling commercial corridor.
The news was announced at a Community Board 4 meeting last April, but its opening date has been delayed. A Bank of America official would only specify "spring" as the opening, but Ira Levy, who owns the neighboring Party Fair store, believes the branch will be up and running by mid-February.
"The area definitely needs a bank," said Levy. "It’s going to be a beautiful building. It will probably bring people to Knickerbocker Avenue. It’s another business on Knickerbocker other than sneakers or ladies’ clothes store and I think it should help beautify the neighborhood." Party Fair once took up nearly the entire block, but has now shrunk to a single storefront.
Long starved for financial institutions, compared with neighboring Ridgewood and Williamsburg, Bushwick’s newest bank joins Citibank on Myrtle Avenue, Capital One Bank on Wyckoff Avenue, and the Brooklyn Cooperative on Myrtle Avenue as places to take out money or cash a check without paying the high fees charged by check-cashing stores.
The bank had long been interested in moving into Bushwick after opening two branches on Myrtle Avenue in both Ridgewood and Glendale.
The street itself has also been attracting national retailers in recent years including Radio Shack and several mobile phone carriers, and even high-end condominiums.
The Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council lobbied the bank to open up shop on Knickerbocker. The avenue’s streetscape has received other boosts from the organization, whose economic development office sponsored pedestrian-friendly events in the summer and a plaza redesign at the intersection with Myrtle Avenue.