Planning Commission approves bank proposal

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The Meridian Township Planning Commission discussed plans for a new bank that if approved for rezoning will be located at the Meridian Mall in front of Macy’s.

The proposal states the building will encompass 2,500 square feet, feature two drive-thru tellers and one ATM lane. The bank will also include 25 parking spots and two access driveways that will connect to the southside of Mall Drive. Construction will begin in 2021. 

The proposed location at 1982 Grand River Ave. Okemos, Michigan. Credit: Meridian Township Planning Commission.

A spokeperson for Meridian Mall Limited Partnership, the project applicant, said at the meeting it is in talks with a tenant said at the meeting it is in talks with a tenant.


The nine commissioners supported the bank proposal in a general agreement. 

“The thing that I like about this project is that the egress [entrance] and ingress [exit] are all within the mall property, so we’re not creating any kind of traffic issues on Grand River,” said Commissioner David Premoe. “I think that uses the property well without disrupting the flow of traffic on a major thoroughfare.”  

Of the nine-member commission, Premoe, Alisande Shrewsbury, Mark Blumer, Gerald Richards, Peter Tresize, Scott Hendrickson, and Peter Menser supported the proposal while Commissioner Bill McConnell had mixed feelings about the plan.

“Putting another drive-thru facility on Grand River Avenue doesn’t concord with my understanding of our shared vision of where we want this corridor to go,” McConnell said. “As a mixed-use corridor, adding another drive-thru commercial facility doesn’t move us toward that vision.”

There were talks of waiving a bypass lane for the bank to have three drive-thru lanes. Commissioner Holly Cordill stressed the importance of a bypass lane in case customers needed to leave the line.

“I see this as a good opportunity to add a bank on the mall property, but I think they have to scale back to two lanes for the ATM,” Cordill said.

The site plan for the proposed bank to be located at 1982 Grandriver Ave. Okemos, Michigan. Credit: Meridian Township Planning Commission

Public comment

Economic Development Director Amber Clark supported the project.

“We want to make sure that one of our biggest commercial core organizations [Meridian Mall] has all the tools they can in order to bring in as many tenants as possible and possibly additional visitors to the mall area,” Clark said. “It’s a great location, it’s not a big disruption to neighborhoods, it’s another great use, it allows us to show that we have some creativity in future development of the mall area.”

Moving forward

If the commission approves the rezoning, the development will go to site review, said Clark.

The Township Board appoints the nine-member commission. Meetings are held twice a month, on the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m.

The next meeting will be Monday, November 23, at 7 p.m.

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