Boston Real Estate Blog

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Bank branches, bad. Cupcake shops, good

Actually, that’s not exactly how Beacon Hill pundit Karen Cord Taylor phrases it, but it’s accurate enough.

And she’s generally right. Why are there suddenly so many banks trying to open branches in small neighborhood shopping districts? With few options for aesthetically pleasing window displays (unless you consider “Low-fee checking” signs to be pleasing), too many bank branches can make an entire street look and feel dull.

It’s just the way they are: dull by nature, not by intent. So a better approach, from a community standpoint, might be for banks to consider putting smaller branches (and ATMs) within more retail stores, sort of the way some banks have tiny branches within supermarkets — or even the way there’s a tiny Dunkin’ Donuts tucked within Beacon Hill’s Top Shelf wine and food store.

Not that we need more cupcake shops. If there’s one thing the world simply doesn’t need, it’s more cupcake shops, as delicious as their products may be for all us gluttons. But you get the idea.