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BY TERENCE CONFINO | On Dec. 19, Emigrant Savings Bank, the oldest savings bank in New York City, opened a new branch in an underserved area of Greenwich Village, at 10 Downing St., on Sixth Ave. between Downing and West Houston Sts.
The aim of the new locale is to service an area traditionally bereft of retail bank branches.
Laurie Kaplan, the new Emigrant branch’s manager, said the bank has been welcomed by the community, with residents happy to skip walking to other branches farther away and instead do their banking nearby.
Also, a number of small businesses, including celebrity hotspot Da Silvano restaurant, have openly praised the new branch.
Silvano Marchetto, who runs Da Silvano, said not only does he think the new location is a great idea, but that he intends to bank there.
It doesn’t stop there, though. The restaurateur was quick to offer a secret or two of his own as well. Whenever he is on vacation in foreign parts, Marchetto always walks into a bank and approaches the manager and asks, “Where is the best place to eat?” Apparently, your local bank is good for more than just sound financial advice.
The new money hub — which occupies 3,000 square feet — was created in a space that formerly housed two retail spots plus a small courtyard in between.
And in keeping with the age of electronic banking, Emigrant has installed a 24-hour, full-service A.T.M., something the bank was blocked from doing by the community board at its old location and one of the reasons it made the move to Downing St.
Branch manager Kaplan, happy to now be in the neighborhood, described the Downing St. location as “a small, community-oriented bank, offering personal service.”
It isn’t all strictly business with Emigrant, however.
The new bank rang in the season with the charitable Emigrant holiday tree, a bank tradition since 2004.
Every Christmas, bank employees decorate the tree with items intended to help those in need. The Greenwich Village bank decorated their tree with socks — a necessity to the underprivileged in cold winter weather. The tree’s decorations are being donated to Our Lady of Pompei Church on Carmine St.
With the new Greenwich Village branch, Emigrant now has 32 branches across New York City.