Byline Bank has announced its south Oak Park branch, 810 S. Oak Park Ave., will permanently close Dec. 31. In a brief letter to its customers, Byline offered no explanation behind the closure other than the decision was made after “detailed evaluation.”
In a statement to Wednesday Journal, Susie Goldschmidt, Byline Bank’s Oak Park River Forest market president, maintained Byline Bank will continue to have a presence in the western suburbs despite closing the branch.
“Every community we serve is important to us and we’re staying in the Oak Park and River Forest market,” said Goldschmidt. “In the past two years, we’ve contributed more than $151,000 to the Oak Park and River Forest communities and we’re committed to continuing to partner with our customers and neighbors.”
According to the letter sent to customers, Byline’s other Oak Park location, 1001 Lake St., as well as its River Forest branch, 7751 Lake St., will remain open. Both were former Community Bank locations.
“We also know face-to-face interaction will continue to be important to our long-term relationships and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers, locally, at both our downtown Oak Park and River Forest branches,” said Goldschmidt.
Byline Bank gained the South Oak Park Avenue branch with its acquisition of Community Bank of Oak Park and River Forest in April 2019. The purchase was valued at $40 million.
Community Bank tried unsuccessfully for many years to expand into south Oak Park from its main bank in downtown Oak Park before snagging the 810 S. Oak Park Ave. property. Bob Ellison, Community Bank operations vice president, called the location the “a true branch of the future” upon announcing its opening in 2017. Before it was a part of Community Bank, the property was a branch of Charter One, but closed in 2014.
Back in 2005, Community Bank purchased property across the street at 809 S. Oak Park Ave. in an attempt to open a branch there but the application was denied by the village of Oak Park based on the need to use a village alley to access a drive-thru.
Community Bank also attempted to open a branch on the northeast side of Roosevelt Road and Home Avenue, purchasing that property in 2008 for $880,000 and receiving village approval in 2009.
The bank snapped up other properties on the block, including the former Girl Scouts headquarters 6930 Roosevelt Rd. in 2009 for $1.7 million. The Girl Scouts lot came with $160,672 in unpaid property taxes that accrued during 2006 and 2007, during which time the property was vacant.
The plans to open a branch there languished and no construction ever started. The Community Bank-owned lots between 6936 and 6950 W. Roosevelt Rd. became Alcuin Montessori School’s second location.
This has been updated to include a statement from Byline Bank.