Next week, for the first time since it was built in 1972, North Riverside’s tallest building will not house a bank – the main purpose for which it was built.
Fifth-Third Bank is closing its branch on the ground floor at 7222 Cermak Road on July 10, consolidating that branch’s operation with its location just a couple of blocks east at 7100 Cermak Road.
Paul Porter, the manager of the North Riverside branch, confirmed its closure to members of the village board last month. In May, Fifth-Third Bank announced its $4.7 billion merger with MB Financial Bank, which resulted in the closure of about 50 MB Financial Bank branches in the Chicago area and the loss of about 500 jobs, most of them at MB Financial’s headquarters in Rosemont.
It’s not clear how many jobs are being eliminated because of the North Riverside-Berwyn branch consolidation.
The eight-story tower at 7222 Cermak Road is the village’s only proper office building, and houses a variety of tenants, from the Social Security Administration to medical offices to professional offices.
According to a listing on the real estate website Loopnet, the building currently has about 26,000 square feet of leasable space out of a total of 97,500, or an occupancy rate of about 73 percent.
That figure does not include the Fifth-Third Bank branch on the ground floor that comprises at least 6,000 square feet.
The imposing office building was originally built to house the headquarters of Clyde Federal Savings and Loan, a thrift that at the time was growing rapidly but whose risky lending practices would soon lead to its demise.
By the late 1980s Clyde Federal Savings and Loan was losing millions, and federal regulators placed the institution into receivership in 1990. A year later, both the institution and the property were acquired by Mid-City National Bank of Chicago.
MB Financial took over the bank in 2001, but the property had been sold three years prior for $8.5 million to a private corporation called 7222 Cermak LLC, whose manager is listed as Richard M. Ross Jr., according to Illinois Secretary of State records.
That corporation still owns the property.