Greg Traxler, owner of First National Bank of Le Center, had been driving through Lonsdale for years and years, noticing the town only has one bank.
In May 2021, that’s expected to change. Traxler has decided to create a whole new charter for a First National Bank Lonsdale office.
“I had a lot of people ask me from the community [if First National Bank would come to Lonsdale], and of course now that the schools are combined, I thought it may be time,” said Traxler. “Plus, the other thing happening here is my son is moving back to the area.”
Traxler’s son Adam is the fourth generation in his family in the banking business. He will be the one running the Lonsdale office, which will have a mortgage department, investment services, full drive-thru banking, an ATM and a coffee shop with a drive-thru.
Traxler recently requested a conditional use permit that will accommodate a building for the Lonsdale bank. The Lonsdale City Council approved the conditional use permit during its online meeting Thursday, May 21.
The lot, located at the new street address of 701 Ash St. NE, is approximately 4 acres while the developing bank property area is 1.5 acres. The 6,500-square-foot bank and drive-thru and 1,000-square-foot coffee shop and drive-thru makes the entire building 7,500 square feet.
First National Bank will be the first business constructed on the western half of Rolling Ridge Market Place, a commercial development that was constructed in the mid-2000s with grading, utilities and a paved roadway set for future developments. Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, SNAP Fitness, Subway and Lonsdale Liquor already occupy the eastern half of Rolling Ridge Market Place. Last August, Triumphant Life Church was deeded just over 4.5 acres of vacant land on the development’s northwest side.
“We thought it would fit in very well with the area,” said Traxler. “You look at their population [in Lonsdale] is growing like crazy out there … and all these suburban rings out in the metro have been just exploding, so we wanted to go there before it really starts to explode.”
The bank’s parking lot will allow for 37 spaces total — 13 on the west and 24 on the south. The coffee shop single-lane drive-thru will be located on the west side of the building with the bank’s multi-lane drive-thru on the opposite end. Outdoor seating will be available near the main entrance and coffee shop portion.
“The one thing in the banking business with everything being electronic, it would be nice to have something just to attract them to the site,” said Traxler of the coffee shop.
Plans for the building’s exterior materials include smooth face stone, split face stone and glass with a standing seam metal roof at a slight angle along with a flat roof. The inside of the building will hold 10 office spaces, a lobby/seating area/concierge station, a conference room, an employee lounge, three restrooms, the coffee shop’s prep/serving/storage area, two work rooms, a drive-up tellers area, a safe deposit and three storage/equipment rooms.
“I’ve been getting some very positive feedback from the community,” said Traxler. “I’m very much looking forward to meeting and greeting people over there [in Lonsdale] because we very much like to be part of the areas we serve.”
Trcka Park update
Another step in the Trcka Park project, which involves the installation of a hockey rink and warming house/park shelter, has been checked off the list.
During its May 21 meeting, the City Council awarded KA Witt Construction as the contractor for Trcka Park’s hockey rink preparation and utility services.
The city was not obligated to advertise for bids for this portion of the project due to the estimated cost. KA Witt Construction, which is under contract for the park building associated with the Trcka Park improvement project, was the low bidder for the hockey rink prep and utility installation at approximately $84,000. With prevailing wage rates applied, as required by the $250,000 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant the city received for the Trcka Park project, work may be eligible for a grant reimbursement.
Other avenues were explored for the project. City staff had previously used donated equipment to complete the park building and considered doing the same for the hockey rink’s grading and granular placement. Ultimately, due to the time duration of the project, the city determined staff resources should be designated to Public Works tasks. It was decided to hire a contractor instead.
Construction of the park building will wrap up at the beginning of September, according to the timeline. The ice rink and sidewalks will come together over the summer.