Plans approved for new Hiawatha Bank

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The city will become home to another bank soon.

The Plan Commission Thursday approved a site plan for Hiawatha National Bank in a new building on Walton Drive.

Architect Josh Ehr of Kubala Washatko presented the plans for the building, which will be located on the east side of Walton Drive between Prevea Health Care and the Gateway Center.

“Hiawatha National Bank’s newest location will be both a banking branch and their future headquarters,” Ehr told the commission.

“Hiawatha Bank has a very strong ethical commitment to their community and customers,” added Ehr. As a result, he said, the building “will have a lot of features that will allow for complete accessibility for all users.”

The bank is primarily located in west central Wisconsin, near the Minnesota border, but does have a loan production office in the city of Sheboygan. The Plymouth branch would be their first full-service banking location in this area of the state.

The plan approved by the commission showed a two-story building with a design and material that Ehr said “draws inspiration from the farm structures in the area.”

“It’s a very efficient building. Everything was considered as a whole,” Joe Krueger of Kubala Washatko added. “We could have made a very much less exotic and expensive building here, but we paid a lot of attention to how staff and visitors fit in the building.”

The building will include a large public meeting space area, Ehr said. The eastern portion of the property will be developed into a public event lawn space as well.

The plan also showed a potential expansion to the south, with a future third driveway entrance at the south end of the parcel.

Mayor Donald Pohlman praised the plan for providing good visuals not only from Walton Drive to the west but also from State 57 to the east.

“This is a very innovative plan,” Pohlman stated. “It certainly looks open and inviting.”

“It’s got appeal from both sides, highway appeal and street appeal,” commission member James Flanagan agreed. “We want to welcome them to the community.”

The commission also approved plans for modifications at the Weber’s of Plymouth convenience store/gas station at 3250 County PP.

The building currently houses the convenience store in two-thirds of the building and a rented retail space in the rest, architect Dave Patera explained.

The cheese store in the rented retail space will be closing, he continued. The plan is to convert that area into an automated car wash with several bays along with an expansion of the convenience store space.

The liquor license currently held by the cheese/wine store would be retained by Weber’s, Patera said in an answer to a question from the commission. The plan is to create a separate room in the convenience store for liquor sales, in compliance with city ordinances.

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