NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday March 21st 2019

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UnBank and UnMission with common wall and uncommon purpose

by HARVEY WINJE

The corner storefront that was Roger Beck Florist until November 2018 at 1100 E. Franklin Ave. is, apparently, now owned by and about to become the UnBank currently at 1009 E. Franklin after initially being restricted from being there because it was too close to a “mission” by city zoning requirements.

The Marie Sandvik Center is next door with only parting walls between. Marie Sandvik Center has reportedly written to the city saying, “it is not a mission;” which became the determinant factor giving affirmation to UnBank after an appeal of the city’s original denial.

Historically, businesses like UnBank and plasma centers being in a retail and residential area are seen as predators of poor people and people living within difficult circumstances. The presence of such businesses is usually a characteristic that reduces signals an area’s decline and causes a drop in property values.

This property’s value and advantage to E. Franklin Ave.’s vast improvements of the last three decades were raised when it was improved from Mr. Arthur’s 3.2 Bar to the Wendell Phillips Federal Community Credit Union in 1996. Ironically, that credit union had the opposite mission and ethic of helping local people into better navigate financial circumstances and improve their well being rather than taking advantage of them.

The “bottom line” is that UnBank presence at this prominent corner hurts the “bottom line” and lives of its clientele and of other businesses and the avenue generally.

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