Why Doesn’t Georgia Avenue Have More Banks?

Bank of America on the northwest corner of Georgia and Park Road

One of the things I’ve noticed in looking at the businesses on Georgia Avenue is how under-served the communities along Georgia Avenue are when it comes to banks. Sure, most of us want restaurants, a new grocery store, and other goods and services, but I think having more banking options is going to be key if we are to attract any of those things have a healthy business corridor again.

Many small business prefer not to take credit cards and don’t like the risk that comes with checks. This leaves cash … yet for residents to have cash in their pockets they either need to leave the neighborhood to go to their bank, go to a third party ATM which charges a fee, or bank at one of the very few banks along the strip.

In Park View, all we have is the Bank of America at Park Road and Georgia Avenue. B of A also has a number of ATMs at Howard. As you move north on Georgia Avenue, you eventually find Industrial Bank at 4812 Georgia and then you don’t hit another bank until you get as  far north as Piney Branch Road. That’s where you’ll find a Suntrust Bank and an M&T. Before hitting Maryland, the final bank is at 7601 Georgia, that being a PNC Bank branch.

I know that the paucity of banks on Georgia Avenue isn’t merely a city thing since the Columbia Heights and U Street Metro Station areas both have about four banks within walking distance to them.

In the map below I’ve indicated the bank branches that I’m aware of. This map does not include ATMs which could be inside of other businesses.


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4 Comments on “Why Doesn’t Georgia Avenue Have More Banks?”

  1. Anne Stom Says:

    I agree whole-heartedly. When I was looking for a local bank branch for my business, I was appalled at the lack of options. I opened an account with Industrial because they didn’t have BoA’s ridiculous fee structure. I am SO pleased by the people and the service at Industrial and have been extremely happy with them.

    That said, we do need more banking options.

    Thanks Kent!

  2. mb Says:

    as the neighborhood continues to grow and add new population the banks will follow. lack of banking options is typical in any urban neighborhood that is lower in income (or at least perceived to be that way). But also be careful for what you wish for, its just as bad to have too many banks. Especially when they take up the best commercial/corner spaces on every other block. Banks add very little to creating street level vibrancy,especially on weekends or after 5pm. Hopefully, GA will find the right balance as it continues to evolve.

    • Angry Parakeet Says:

      You’re so right – way too many bank storefronts with little to offer in areas that we hope will instead have contributing businesses.

  3. […] above the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station (west side) appears to finally be operational. Back in 2011 I noted just how underserved the community was with banking services — especially compared to other […]

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