Evans Bank plans to open a downtown branch in the central business district this year.
The bank has not yet announced a specific location, said Kevin Brady, vice president of marketing.
"This area of the city is enjoying a renaissance that is expected to continue well into the future," said David J. Nasca, the bank's president and CEO, in his letter to shareholders included in the company's annual report. Nasca said the new branch will complement its other city locations, in the Elmwood Village and North Buffalo.
This will be Evans' 15th branch. In 2016, the bank opened a branch in the Town of Lockport, its first Niagara County location.
Banks have grown more selective about opening new locations, as customers conduct more of their transactions online. And many of the new branches look markedly different from branches of decades past. The new versions are often smaller, operate with fewer employees, and emphasize customer meeting spaces over the traditional row of teller windows.
Evans will join other banks that have recently set up shop downtown.
Five Star Bank opened its first downtown branch in the 40-50 Fountain Plaza complex early last year, inside a former KeyBank branch. Bank on Buffalo, a division of CNB Financial, opened its branch and headquarters inside the Electric Tower last year.
M&T, Key, Bank of America, Northwest and Citizens have downtown branches, as well. M&T's corporate headquarters is downtown, Bank of America has its local offices at Fountain Plaza, and Key's Northeast regional headquarters is just outside the downtown core, in Larkinville.
Other additional bank branches are planned elsewhere in the region.
Steuben Trust is working on opening its first area branch, in Clarence. The Bank of Akron is scouting locations for a fifth branch. Alden State Bank is awaiting regulatory approval for a third branch, in Clarence. And Tompkins Bank of Castile is choosing a location for its first-ever branch in the region.
Meanwhile, Northwest Bank is planning to open a branch on Jefferson Avenue on the East Side, and Key has said it will open an additional East Side branch, as well.
The new branches buck a trend outlined in a MagnifyMoney study, which found the Buffalo Niagara region had the second-most branch closings of any metro area in the past decade.