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'UFO From Planet Sprawl' Landing in Park Slope

Recently, we've been getting a lot of email from Park Slope residents who are worked up about Commerce Bank's plan to build a drive-in branch (like the one in Prospect Park, above) on Fifth Avenue (@ 1st/Garfield). On his blog, neighborhood resident Aaron Naparstek explains the issue:

A UFO from Planet Sprawl is about to land on Park Slope, Brooklyn. No, I'm not talking about Frank Gehry's torqued, titanium basketball arena. It's a smaller project, though still a neat microcosm of the development issues roiling Brooklyn these days. In January, Commerce Bank breaks ground on a new "store" at 5th Avenue and 1st Street... The Park Slope branch will cover more than three-quarters of a block and look exactly like a branch you'd find in a New Jersey strip mall. A one-story industrial box surrounded by asphalt and dotted with shrubbery, it will blare its presence via a giant, illuminated plastic sign on a steel pole. Most unusual for a thriving, pedestrian shopping street, the bank will offer three "convenient drive-thru" lanes. Very convenient. If you're in a car.

There's a petition underway at a Park Slope neighborhood site if this gets your goat, too.
· McBank [naparstek.com]
· Stop Commerce Bank [parkslopeneighbors.org]