Businesses on Liacouras Walk can brace for a new neighbor – except it’s not exactly new to students.
The space on Liacouras Walk, formerly occupied by Dunkin’ Donuts, will become the home of a full branch of PNC Bank.
PNC, which is currently located in the space next to the former Dunkin’ Donuts, will move into the empty space, where it will operate as a full-service branch.
Chris Datz, director of asset management of the Pintzuk Brown Realty Group, which manages the properties on Liacouras Walk, said Dunkin’ Donuts’ departure made the transition natural.
“The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise wanted to pursue other opportunities,” Datz said. “When the property became available for lease last spring, PNC was approached about potentially taking that space for expansion. They agreed.”
Judy Bell, vice president and regional
manager of retail banking for PNC Bank, said the move will make banking for the Temple community easier.
“We wanted to provide greater ease and convenience for Temple’s students, faculty and staff, as well as local businesses, to better meet the Temple community and help them achievve their financial needs,” Bell said.
The new PNC will feature four ATM machines, three of which will be available 24 hours a day. It will also operate with four tellers rather than the two at the current PNC location.
Other new additions include a coin-counting machine and an Internet cafe with two computers for online banking. Bell also said the new branch will extend the financial services that are available to customers.
“We will also offer all of our products and services for individuals and business owners including checking and savings accounts, home-equity loans, lines of credit, treasury management and other services,” Bell said.
The construction, which is already underway, is set to finish around the end of the year, with PNC planning to open at its new location in the beginning of 2007.
After PNC is fully moved out of its current location, construction will begin there to build a Saxbys Coffee shop.
Saxbys, a coffee lounge that recently opened a store in Malvern, Pa., has more than 2,400 other locations in 19 states.
Datz said that the Pintzuk Brown Realty Group worked closely with the university to decide what was going to be built on Liacouras Walk.
“There’s always a great deal of discussion between groups regarding tenancy. Sometimes Temple may have someone who contacts them, or we will have someone who contacts us directly. There’s always a lot of collaboration though,” Datz said.
Overall, Datz said the demand for certain types of stores on a college campus is the driving force.
“The market plays a large role in selecting
businesses,” Datz said. “We would never put something out of left field there because students wouldn’t go and the business wouldn’t make any money.”
Like many students, Kim Roberts said she has mixed feelings about the expanding PNC and the addition of another coffee shop on campus, but said she is glad to see construction moving forward.
“I miss the Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s about time they put something there. It just sat there empty for a long time,” Roberts, a senior broadcast journalism major said. “It would have been cool if they would have added something fun to do between
Other students said they’re for the new services and convenience a larger PNC location will provide.
“The lines now are ridiculous. Hopefully this will increase customer service and make it more efficient,” said Kristine Oladipo, a biology and pre-med junior.
For other students, the proximity of the new coffee shop will be a major factor.
“It will be good for people who live in Johnson and Hardwick or 1940 [Residence Hall.] They can just go down Liacouras Walk instead of going all the way to the TECH Center for coffee,” Uchechi Onyeyirim, a pre-nursing freshman said.
Currently, the Pintzuk Brown Realty Group and Temple are in the early planning phase to determine what will occupy the former cellular phone store on Liacouras Walk as well.
“It’s a 300-foot availability. We are still in planning, having conversations with many people,” Datz said.
Alex Irwin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.