63 Genesee St.

The building at 63 Genesee St. in Auburn previously housed branches of HSBC and Marine Midland banks. It opened in 1972.

The concrete building at 63 Genesee St. in downtown Auburn will remain, at least in part, a bank.

Lyons National Bank is one of two new tenants announced for the building by owner KyleCroft Development. The other is Joseph Calarco, an agent for supplemental insurer Aflac.

Grant Kyle, of KyleCroft, said the second-floor Aflac office will receive its certificate of occupancy Monday, as will ABC Cayuga's Play Space, which is located on the former bank's main floor.

Lyons, meanwhile, is looking at opening sometime in April, Kyle said. KyleCroft is installing new teller stations, an ATM and a dropbox for the bank, which will also be opening a branch at 311 Grant Ave. Road in Sennett. Though that branch has been approved by the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the downtown one's application is still pending.

Thomas Kime, president of the Wayne County-based Lyons, told The Citizen in February that "Auburn had been on our radar screen for quite a few years. ... We'd like to be part of the downtown business community, but we also want ease of access, which the Sennett location would allow."

Kyle said Lyons will occupy about 2,200 square feet of the building's bottom floor. That floor, he continued, also includes a 1,200-square-foot vault and a 1,500-square-foot conference room that KyleCroft is still figuring out how to fill. The latter could be an hourly rental space, Kyle said, or a permanent lease depending on demand. The former will require code studies to determine legal uses.

"It won't be coming out, it's so large and heavy," he said of the vault. "It's pretty impressive."

KyleCroft bought the former Marine Midland and HSBC banks in September from First Niagara Bank, which acquired the building when it acquired HSBC in 2012. The sale price was $240,000, according to Cayuga County property records. The bank was assessed at $1,094,000 in 2016.

Kyle said redeveloping and filling the building has gone "a lot quicker" than he anticipated, and believes that's due to its central downtown location and accompanying parking lot.

"It's good news for the health of downtown," he said. "So many people are interested in staying or growing downtown."

That demand pushed back work on the adjacent Nolan Block at 41-53 Genesee St., which KyleCroft purchased earlier in 2016. Kyle said the block's $2.87 million development into 14 apartments and five storefronts should begin in the spring.

Kyle put a similar timetable on exterior work to 63 Genesee St.: whenever the snow melts. At that time, he said, KyleCroft will fill the building's light boxes, complete landscaping work and, Kyle hopes, "dramatically" light it. Those improvements, he said, could turn Auburnians around on the angular concrete structure, which many have called unsightly.

"We'll continue to try to make it as attractive as we can to downtown," he said.

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Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen and auburnpub.com. I also cover local arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.