Watertown Savings Bank plans new lending center at Clinton Street campus

Watertown Savings Bank plans to tear down an office building on its Clinton Street campus and construct a 14,000-square-foot lending center. Rendering provided by GYMO Architecture, Watertown.

WATERTOWN — Watertown Savings Bank plans to tear down an office building on its Clinton Street campus and construct a 14,000-square-foot lending center on its location.

Bank President Mark R. Lavarnway said plans have been in the works for several years to replace The Clinton Building, 145 Clinton St., as the bank has considered its need for additional space. He said the bank evaluated many alternatives before deciding its best choice would be to expand its main campus.

“The need for the new lending center is a direct result of our continued growth in the market and our corresponding need for additional space to support our expanding operations,” Mr. Lavarnway said Friday. “While many other banks have chosen to leave or significantly downsize their operations in our market, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to this community.”

He said the bank’s commercial and lending efforts are the core of its business model and the new lending center will provide a dedicated facility to serve its growing customer base.

“The new lending center is the next step in the natural progression to support our continued position as the number one lender in the community,” Mr. Lavarnway said. “The facility will be a benefit to our customers, employees and the community as a whole and is another example of our commitment to the community for the past 128 years.”

The new facility will be connected to the existing main office via a 50-foot connector bridge with a courtyard below. Two points of access to the main campus will be maintained from both Clinton and Mullin streets.

The Clinton Building was the location of Bridgeview Real Estate Services, where owners Maxine M. Quigg and Terrence M. O’Brien were shot and killed April 28 by former employee Barry K. Stewart, who later took his own life. But tenants had already been notified in March that the building was going to need to be vacated by Dec. 31 to make room for the new lending center.

“The timing is right for us to move forward with this project for many reasons and we are excited to get it started,” Mr. Lavarnway said.

Lunco Corp., Watertown, submitted plans Tuesday to the city’s Planning Board.

The Clinton Building, which opened in 1963 and was extensively renovated in 2001 as part of the project to build Watertown Savings Bank’s main branch next door, will be torn down in the spring.

Construction of the new lending office is expected to begin shortly after and it should be open in early 2023.

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