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Citibank Likely to Open New Inwood Branch After Massive Fire

By Carla Zanoni | January 10, 2012 4:05pm
Inwood's only Citibank branch is likely to return to the neighborhood, bank officials said.
Inwood's only Citibank branch is likely to return to the neighborhood, bank officials said.
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DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni

INWOOD — Citibank is likely to reopen locally after a massive fire decimated its only Inwood branch last week, leaving customers struggling to find a bank, sources said. 

The branch was closed after the city condemned the building and ordered that it be demolished last week. The Department of Buildings is working with the building's owner to remove the structure at 4945 Broadway. 

“We are currently teaming with our Inwood community partners to identify a temporary location to serve our customers,” a Citibank spokeswoman wrote in an email. “In the long term, we are committed to the Inwood community and are working to identify a permanent location to re-establish our branch.”

Last Tuesday's fire gutted nine businesses, including Citibank’s branch and a Bank of America ATM kiosk. A Bank of America spokesman said the bank hopes to return to the building once it's rebuilt. 

Unlike other Manhattan neighborhoods that are well served with various bank branches and ATM kiosks, the Inwood Citibank branch was the only one in the neighborhood. 

Customers said they felt the future of the bank hung in the balance when they were first told to use the Washington Heights or Kingsbridge branches, which are located approximately 1 mile north and south of the Inwood branch.

DNAinfo obtained an email alert from the bank sent to customers on Monday stating the branch would “remain closed for an unknown amount of time.” 

“We are working with local officials to gain access to the building and are currently assessing the stability of the branch,” the email continued. “It is not known at this time if the branch will be reopened at this location.”

Some customers said they found the alert language ambiguous and confusing, and questioned whether the corporate bank was planning to reopen. 

I love Citibank, and it would be a real shame if they didn't reopen in Inwood,” wrote local resident and customer Kevin Keller on Facebook after reading the statement. 

According to City Councilman Robert Jackson’s office, representatives have been in contact with the office to identify a new space for the branch and assist customers. 

“Citibank is working to get a neighborhood location to re-open,” Jackson’s spokesman, Martin Collins, wrote in an email Monday. “In addition, 207th Street Citibank, customers may call customer service at 800-627-3999 to reverse ATM fees incurred using their Citibank card.”

Collins added that Citibank customers who rented safe deposit boxes at the location can recover the boxes at the bank's Park Avenue and 53rd Street branch by calling 212-559-7456 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.