It has been decades since the opening of a chartered bank branch in Squamish and Toronto Dominion Bank wants that to change.
The national banking institution is working with Preferred Trading Ltd. to develop the property at the northwest corner of Industrial Way and Hwy. 99.
Preferred Trading is owned by Ammi Tepper, dealer principal of Sea to Sky Ford, and Ed Vernon, the developer of Marina Estates and a number of other properties in Squamish.
The pair will host a public information meeting on July 7 to outline the development plans.The working drawings for the site show a 399.5 square metre (4,300 square foot) bank along with three other retail spaces in a total of two buildings.
The main feature of the bank will be the inclusion of a drive-through automated teller machine.Vernon and Tepper said they have a firm commitment from Starbucks, which also wants a drive-through window.
The bank and coffee shop are to share the larger of the two buildings.
"They came to us," Vernon said of their plans for the valuable piece of property.
"I think that this is a good thing," Tepper said. "It is a good thing for the community. It is a good thing for us as well."
Tepper and Vernon said that TD is excited about the highway location because the company feels that the downtown area of Squamish is "overbanked". The banking trend in Squamish is moving away from the downtown. The Squamish Credit Union started the trend when it expanded to the Highlands Mall and North Shore Credit Union is in the process of finalizing its location in Garibaldi Village.
"Downtown is well served with what it already has," Tepper said. "We feel that if we are downtown we won't survive."
The property across Industrial Way from Tim Hortons is not currently zoned for what Tepper and Vernon are planning so rezoning will be needed.
The proponents are hoping that their rezoning application will have first and second reading at a special council meeting on Monday, July 19. Once first and second reading is set, a public hearing date will be scheduled and residents will have a chance to formally register support or opposition to the rezoning request.
The public information meeting planned by the proponents is scheduled for July 7 between 5 and 8 p.m. at Mountain Retreat and Suites.