New possibilities for Hamilton’s Second National Bank building

The historic Second National Bank building on High Street in Hamilton was occupied by US Bank until recently. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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The historic Second National Bank building on High Street in Hamilton was occupied by US Bank until recently. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

There’s new hope for the Second National Bank building on High Street in Downtown Hamilton, with the possibilities including a hotel, condominiums or a mix of residences, businesses or shops. US Bank recently sold the building through an online auction.

Local historian Brian Lenihan is pleased local officials are working to find a new purpose for the attractive four-story building at 219 High St. that was completed in 1931.

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“It’s a classic example of Art Deco architecture,” Lenihan said. “I think it’ll be great to make a new use of it and keep its character.”

The building’s exterior features elongated arches, tall rectangular facets and ornate metal decorations above the main doorway.

Hamilton City Council on Dec. 8 voted to pay the Community Improvement Corporation $300,000 from the city’s general fund to make the purchase. The CIC is Hamilton’s agency created to promote economic development in the city. The sale price of the building was about $250,000, but the building has a boiler that needed to replaced, the reason for the additional $50,000 advanced to the organization.

US Bank had an online auction to sell the building, and the city was the winning bidder. City officials were hoping a developer would purchase it and create a new use for it. In recent years Hamilton city government has bought significant buildings, particularly along the business corridor along High and Main Streets and sold them to developers at low costs in exchange for significant investments to return the properties to productive use.

Economic Development Specialist Stacey Dietrich Dudas has said the city likely will request from developers interested in reactivating the building. In exchange for the low price, Hamilton likely would expect the developer to invest several million dollars in the project, City Manager Joshua Smith recently told members of City Council.

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The historic Second National Bank building on High Street in Hamilton was occupied by US Bank until recently. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

The historic Second National Bank building on High Street in Hamilton was occupied by US Bank until recently. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
The historic Second National Bank building on High Street in Hamilton was occupied by US Bank until recently. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Smith recommended City Council provide a $300,000 grant to the CIC to pay for the purchase. The city plans to request proposals from developers and offer it to one of them.

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