Bank of America plans to close its branch at 555 Columbia Rd. in Upham’s Corner next year. In a letter mailed out to customers last week, the bank noted that it has four other Dorchester locations, including one at 1104 Massachusetts Ave. in the South Bay Mall.
“Based on foot traffic and other metrics, we determined that we could continue to effectively serve our customers with one less location in town,” said T.J. Crawford, a spokesperson for Bank of America. Crawford said that the building— which will close for business on March 21, 2014— will “be marketed.”
Edward Grimes, the chief executive officer of the Upham’s Corner Health Center, said that the closure would deal a blow to the local business district.
“The closing of the branch in Upham's Corner will be detrimental to the business community and the surrounding neighborhood,” Grimes wrote in an email to other civic leaders. “Therefore, I hope we can be proactive in convincing the Bank of America or its regulators to keep the branch open.”
Max McCarthy, executive director of the Upham’s Corner Main Street organization, said that the community was “mobilizing a response” in hopes of keeping the branch open. Two other banks are presently operating in the business district— Citizen’s and Santander. With Uphams Corner well-positioned for growth— in the form of new development along the Fairmount rail corridor  and a revitalized Strand Theatre  among other assets— McCarthy thinks the district's advocates have a strong case to make to Bank of America and other institutions.
“Local merchants depend on banking options and having it there is really helpful, especially for small merchants who can’t trek all the way to South Bay,” said McCarthy. “For a lot of folks, who don’t bank online, it’s a much needed place that drives foot traffic into the district.”