PNC Bank nears completion of Midtown branch rehab

The finishing touches are going on the newly renovated PNC Bank branch in Midtown, which is part of a larger expansion into the Detroit market by the multi-national bank.

For years PNC Bank had a drab little branch at the corner of Woodward Avenue and West Alexandrine Street. That began to change earlier this year when the surrounding neighborhood hit a tipping point development wise. The Detroit Medical Center began its expansion across Woodward. Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co opened across West Alexandrine. Now there are rumblings of the redevelopment of the big vacant apartment building behind the branch.

"We have to make certain we were a part of (the rebirth of the neighborhood)," says Mike Bickers, executive vice president of retail banking for PNC Bank. "The first part is the interior, which has been totally revamped. The next step is the outside."

He adds the renovation of the 3,000-square-foot building is "basically done" with a few remaining loose ends being tied up this month. The revamped branch joins PNC Bank's 10 other branches in Detroit and Hamtramck. The newest one is a community branch at 7 Mile and Evergreen roads on the city's West Side, which opened last week.

"That branch is about low-to-moderate-income, community-based banking," Bickers says. He explains that the branch will focus a lot on financial education that helps people establish bank accounts and a credit history rather than taking paychecks to check-cashing places.

PNC Bank is also looking to open a full-service branch at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue next summer. The branch will consist of ATMs, drive-thru lanes and other regular banking amenities. It will be part of the Gateway Marketplace development, which is set to be anchored by stores from Meijer and Marshalls.

Source: Mike Bickers, executive vice president of retail banking for PNC Bank
Writer: Jon Zemke

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