Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Avenue National Bank


A year ago, First Avenue National Bank was located directly across the street from this location in an older, nondescript building. At the time, the lot on which the bank now stands, was a large, unkempt, grassy space.

What I didn't understand is why a bank, in the midst of a severe economic downturn, and when other banks in Ocala were failing, would construct a beautiful new building which turned out rather nicely, but didn't seem to be necessary.

For some time the bank has been trying to rent out space on the second floor.

37 comments:

Don and Krise said...

It's funny you mention this. Locally a large credit union has done the same thing. They built a new building which they are not even using all of, are renting out the rest of it, and they are renting out the old building. Interesting way to do things I agree.

Sean said...

Hey, one mans back luck huh... the only time it might be bad is if they next ask for support from the Govt. Until then, good on them I guess!

Memphis MOJO said...

Everything else aside, the appearances of this aren't good -- people resent it.

Lee Spangler said...

raises impt political questions. getting fatter on bail-out money I suppose.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful shot Jacob !!Clarity in the photo is absolutely stunning !! Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

Vogon Poet said...

It gets attention and it is a fine building. Here banks like to keep the whole building for themselves.

Olivier said...

belle architecture moderne

Small City Scenes said...

I do not know why this happens but it does here too. Whose money did they use to build the new building? You see empty storefronts and someone comes along and instead of utilizing that space has to build and who knows it may be empty next year. MB

Bibi said...

Good question. Here people would say there is some sort of money laundering going on!

Wolynski said...

That's a rather lovely building. I'm glad the banks are spending our money on something so nice. Gorgeous photo.

Paula said...

Rather strange, no doubt.

Antjas said...

This looks like our local Barnes and Noble. Maybe they can rent it out to them.
I'm sure the construction plans were in the works years before the downfall and to back out would probably have been even more costly.

Cezar and Léia said...

This façade is so elegant! People can locate it but I hope it is not so expensive.
Léia ;)

brattcat said...

Oops. I guess this was too far along in the planning to stop. And maybe they felt they were doing their part to stimulate the economy by going forward with the project. It is an attractive building.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Many things happening during this recession are a mystery to me. But I'll keep quiet just in case your blog is bugged. ;-)

B SQUARED said...

I wondered the same thing myself. I don't understand how the make money when they are not making loans. Makes me wonder what's really going on.

Leif Hagen said...

And what's even stranger than that is that the bank is located on Third Avenue! Just doesn't make sense!

Hilda said...

Interesting architecture. Do you know what's on the roof deck? The fence, or whatever it's called when it's on the roof, is intriguing.

Dan J. said...

I have no idea why.... but I see this building and I think "Monopoly" right away. Not the business definition, but the game !!!

I see the little bald Monopoly guy greeting people as they enter the bank.... It's a little weird I know... but it is the first thing I thought of.

This building seems so different than the other structures I have come to know from Ocala.

Halcyon said...

Who knows why banks do anything! I hope your money is not in this one though. ;-)

Lois said...

That makes no sense!

Daryl said...

I suspect the plans to build were in place long before the economic downturn ...

Jacob said...

@ Halcyon - what money? :-)

@ Daryl - You may be right. But...

@ Lois - Yup!

John said...

Antjas, you are very insightful. Architectural features were inspired by Barnes and Noble in San Francisco. This Bank was formed when the local economy was very strong. Despite the downturn, it is over $100 million in assets and is readily making loans. No government sourced capital has been requested.

Jacob said...

@ John - I'm assuming you are John Hunt, CEO of First Avenue National Bank! Welcome and thank you for your comment! It is great to have you join the discussion and set the record straight.

Barnes & Noble? That's pretty interesting, and yes, Antjas is "insightful." Good photographer, too!

Again, thanks for stopping by Ocala Daily Photo!

Allison said...

Boy, that Leif Hagen is a stitch, huh? Funny, funny guy, he is.

Maybe they should relocate the dollar store upstairs! It would be a short commute to the bank for them.

John said...

Jacob, yes you ID'd me. I really appreciate the compliments on the building and it is a great picture! The building has a First Avenue street address and it is between First Avenue and Second Avenue (not Third Avenue), bordered by 10th St.

John said...

Hilda, there is nothing noteworthy on the roof. The metal work with the white panels is simply an architectural feature (with a lightning rod!).

John said...

This building was the first to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the US Green Building Council in Ocala. We save carbon emissions that would be the equivalent of taking 48 cars off the road.

Jacob said...

@ John - Congratulations! Not only is it a beautiful building, but so glad to hear that it is also a "green" building!

tapirgal said...

Maybe it's like the cc companies who raise your APR to 29.99%, making more money for themselves when it just makes it harder for the rest of us to pay our bills. I know somebody is making money in these times, and it's not me! Other than that, the building looks pretty nice. Nice colors and interesting design against the sky.

Frank said...

That was extremely wise from a marketing standpoint to set up a Google alert about the bank. In this age of Internet technology, his immediate response to your blog entry was perfectly timed. The CEO shows terrific communications and leadership skills to join in the discussion, share accurate information and answer questions. Congratulations are in order for the LEED certification, too.

With the closing of so many bookstores, perhaps they can include a Barnes and Noble upstairs... with a Starbucks and cigar bar on the terrace??

Marie said...

There are many things difficult to understand on this world. They are building a new city hall in Montpellier. Ours was still good and our local taxes are the highest in France!

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

I remember this quote: "What is the burgling of a bank to the founding of a bank?". And, I must admit, there's some truth in it.

John said...

Frank, thank you so much for your kind remarks. In response to others, we only have 14 credit card accounts, none of them at 29.99%. We have a dedicated officer who reviews all cash deposits to make sure no money is laundered through us.

babshill said...

I worked together with John Hunt, the President of First Avenue Bank, for a short time while I worked for the Chamber of Commerce and he was the Treasurer. Any of you thinking this bank ha something shady going on just don't know John. John Hunt has more integrity in his pinky finger than a lot of people I know. He participates actively to promote business in Marion County and is very well liked and respected. Although he most certainly doesn't need defending by me :) I will never forget his kindness and willingness to assist whenever I needed him. With John in the driver's seat, this bank has no choice but to prosper and I wish him and Fist Avenue every bit of success they deserve!

Jacob said...

@ Babshill - Thank you so much for writing. And I really appreciate that you took the time to share your experiences with Mr. Hunt and your feelings about him!

It makes me feel good to know that such a man is a business leader in our community.

"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson