---- — A bank is leaving a large storefront in the Musgrove Building, opening possibilities at one of the busiest intersections downtown.
Citibank Andover at 2 Elm Square, will close Friday, March 15, according to the building’s owner, state Sen. Barry Finegold of Andover. The bank is located in the historic Musgrove Building located near the intersection of Main and Elm streets. The windowed space has about 3,000 square feet and is on the side of the building closest to the Andover Spa. Its windows face Memorial Hall Library and Elm Green Veterans Memorial Park.
The New York-based bank has reported that it will close nine of its 31 branches in Massachusetts that day. The Citibank in Eaglewood Shops on Route 114 in North Andover is also closing, Finegold said.
Finegold said he has no new tenant moving into the Musgrove Building yet, but the storefront’s opening was met with optimism in the town’s planning office because the area with oversized sidewalks is considered an important gateway to the heart of Main Street.
“It’s a great location. It’s got high visibility and it’s a great entrance to our downtown,” said Planning Director Paul Materazzo.
Materazzo said he would welcome any new business to that corner but agreed that it is a prime location for a restaurant.
“A restaurant could go there and have outdoor seating,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be great to have people outside at that corner as others go downtown?”
The restaurant Brassiere 28 is also located in the first floor of the Musgrove Building and is currently petitioning selectmen to have outdoor seating, Materazzo said.
“Synergy between restaurants is great,” Materazzo said. “If that happens there, I think it would work well.”
Last July, Brasserie 28 and Yella – which is just around the corner on Post Office Avenue – amended their existing liquor licenses to allow them to serve alcohol outdoors, following the selectmen’s vote to allow the possibility.
Meanwhile, Finegold would welcome another restaurant at the Citibank site.
“It’s what the people of Andover want,” he said.
A new restaurant is going into another building he owns on Post Office Avenue. The former My Brothers Pizza location will soon be a Thai restaurant. He said the one-way Post Office Avenue will be closed this summer to cars as the Thai restaurant will also have outdoor seating.
“Renovation for that project is going great. The new restaurant should be open soon,” Finegold said.
Also vacant in that area of Main Street is the former location of The Andover Gift Shop. The store at 4 Main St. closed last December after 22 years. The building is owned by Karen Simeone. Her father, Bud Simeone, said the vacant space is currently being renovated. No new tenant has been named to replace The Andover Gift Shop.