CIBC at Front St. and Lochiel Street in downtown Sarnia. October 27, 2017 (Photo by Stephanie Chaves)

CIBC Closure Presents County Opportunity

The downtown CIBC branch, slated to close May 4, may not stay empty for long.

The County of Lambton currently leases the top floor space of the building at Front and Lochiel streets.

And Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley sees a great opportunity for the county to acquire a prime piece of real estate.

“When I first received word that the branch would be closing, I mean certainly I would prefer it didn’t, but I’m also a realist about what is happening in banking across the country,” says Bradley. “There’s a tremendous opportunity here for the County of Lambton. They already lease the space above the bank, I believe they have the first right of refusal on the main floor space and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Bank officials says the branch would be put up for sale about four to six months after the closure.

Mayor Bradley says he doesn’t believe the site would sit empty for very long.

“The gallery has been a huge success and has really changed the dynamics of the downtown and impacts on everything else that’s going on there from retail to restaurants and here’s a chance, a once in a lifetime chance, in real estate to acquire or lease that property for the next generation,” he says.

The four employees at the downtown branch will move to the London Rd. location.

CIBC is currently in the process of informing clients and will automatically transfer accounts to the London Rd. Banking Centre.