- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Leonardtown’s municipal leaders are interested in moving town government’s offices into the PNC Bank building on the square after that branch closes its door to customers July 19.
The Leonardtown town council voted unanimously to draft a letter Monday to PNC Bank stating the town government is interested in buying the original section of the bank building on the corner of Washington Street and Park Avenue.
“We’ve been talking about this,” Leonardtown Mayor Dan Burris said Tuesday. “We want to see something to go into the PNC Building. It certainly would be a great place for town hall.”
The PNC Bank building is actually two properties. The town would be interested to move into the front section, originally built in 1921, now containing 9,148 square feet. “Even the one building would be more space than we need,” Burris said, and the excess space would be leased out if the town moved in.
After the PNC branch on the square closes, the bank will use the space during the summer for employee training, Burris said. The bank is consolidating its Leonardtown operations at its Breton branch, less than a mile and half away on Route 5.
PNC will then have the downtown building appraised in the fall. “At this point we have no idea what they’ll be asking; they don’t know either,” Burris said.
St. Mary’s County Commissioner Dan Morris (R), who represents the Leonardtown and Hollywood area, said, “I think it’s a beautiful building if the town could do it. I think it would be great, but I don’t know if they could afford it.” However, the location would be ideal as “a one-stop shop for a multitude of things” for those visiting Leonardtown, he said.
Leonardtown town government is currently located on Courthouse Drive in the Proffitt Building, and shares that space with condominiums. Some town offices are downstairs while some are on the third floor. There is no real lobby area, Burris said.
The building was only meant to be a temporary location, he said, and selling some of the condominiums would help pay for the purchase of the PNC Bank building. If a private buyer emerges for the bank property, though, Burris said the town might not be able to compete.
Before moving into the Proffitt Building, town hall leased space in the old Leonardtown Post Office building on Park Avenue.
The downtown PNC branch was originally The First National Bank of St. Mary’s, which was established in 1903.