Train Bank closing celebration set for the end of the month

File photo

Local officials are planning an event to say goodbye to a longtime local landmark later this month.

Bank of Fayetteville’s Dickson Street branch, located in old train cars and known locally as “the train bank,” will close at the end of the month, and bank officials are planning a celebration from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

The event will serve as a celebration of the 33-year legacy of the branch and will include music, treats, and other festivities, according to a social media post from the bank.

Bank officials last month announced that the branch would permanently close at 5 p.m. on Sept. 29.

A letter signed by bank president and CEO Brad Chambless explained the closure.

From the letter:

As you may know, the Train Branch is located in the City of Fayetteville’s entertainment district and the Ramble Park development expansion. Redevelopment of the Train Branch site is an important part of the City’s plans to increase tourism and provide more amenities for the Fayetteville community. We continue to support business development and grown to ensure our City is a desirable place to live and work. We hope you will join us in welcoming this positive change and direction for Fayetteville.

Farmers and Merchants Bank, who owns Bank of Fayetteville, sold the land where the train bank is located for $2.44 million back in June to Ramble North, LLC.

That company lists local businessman Greg House as one its officers, whose business partner Ted Belden has said the plan is to build a hotel on the property. House reiterated those plans in August, but said finalized negotiations for a hotel partner have not been completed.

Bank of Fayetteville purchased the property for the train bank for $140,000 in 1996, according to county property records. That was nine years after the bank opened in the Lewis Brothers Hardware building on the corner of the downtown square in 1987.

House told us last month that the train cars were part of the land sale, and are now owned by Ramble North, LLC. He said he isn’t positive what they will do with them, but that architects for the hotel have been looking at ways to incorporate the cars into the project in some way, or find another use for them downtown.

“We’d like to find a way for them them stay in the community,” he said.