On the morning of Feb. 24, Union Bank La Mesa branch manager, Carlton Hill welcomed Aviana Dobesh (age 4), and her parents Andrea Soffa and Steve Dobesh to the temporary Union Bank branch in La Mesa, located in the parking lot of the former bank building at 4771 Spring St. Hill, on behalf of Union Bank, wanted to personally thank Aviana for the artwork she created in the days following the fire that destroyed the bank’s branch in May 2020.
The bank selected Aviana’s painting to be featured inside its temporary branch and on related marketing collateral. Her message of hope really resonated with the Union Bank team and brings smiles to the faces of employees and clients when they enter the temporary branch, which opened on Jan. 25.
The family toured of the temporary branch where Aviana’s artwork is on display and Aviana was given some art inspired gifts including online art classes, craft supplies and magnetic building blocks as a token of thanks from the branch team.
New bank design approved
On March 23, La Mesa City Council approved the design for the new permanent Union Bank building. The city’s Design Review Board previously reviewed the submitted drawings in consideration of the City’s Urban Design Program and the Downtown Village Specific Plan.
Union Bank proposes to redevelop the westerly portion of its property site with a single-story, 4,864 square-foot commercial bank building. The new bank is similar in size to the former building. The scope of work includes reconfiguring the parking layout around the building, installing new perimeter landscaping, and constructing a new trash enclosure.
Curb openings on Spring Street will be modified in their existing locations and one of two existing vehicular alley access points will be closed. The easterly half of the site is not a part of the project and will remain as a parking lot providing 21 parking spaces.
The plan includes a more modern look to the bank building with a flat parapet roof and asymmetrical horizontal and vertical planes; as well as finish treatments and materials, including CMU block veneer, metal panels, cement plaster, and steel louvered canopies.
At the City Council meeting, Council member Jack Shu voted along with the rest of the Council to approve the project, but commented that he would prefer projects like the Union Bank building to include solar panels and zero gas hookups for heaters or burners. He encouraged the Council to quickly adopt new standards so the city will not “get behind” in its Climate Section Plan goals.
There was no Union Bank representative in attendance at the online meeting to indicate when construction would begin and be completed by.