It’s been months and months since the popular Macaroni Grill restaurant closed in North Dallas.
The empty building on busy Northwest Highway is just a block from the Dallas North Tollway.
But don’t look for another restaurant to set up shop inside the shuttered Italian eatery.
Instead, a bank is eyeing the property for a new location.
Regions Bank wants to replace the stone and red tile restaurant with a 2,700-square-foot branch bank and drive through, according to filings with the Dallas City Plan Commission.
If the plans are approved, Regions Bank would be the fourth financial institution in a row along that stretch of Northwest Highway.
Plans for the new North Dallas bank come at a time when other financial institutions are cutting back.
A new study by commercial real estate firm JLL finds that nationwide banking firms are consolidating their branches.
"The largest banks are all shedding branches as they review their service lines and seek to optimize their footprints," according to JLL spokesman Harvey Mireles.
The number of branch banks across the country fell by about 2 percent in 2017. And they’ve been falling since 2009.
Even so, there are almost 90,000 bank locations in operation in the U.S.
In the Dallas-Fort Worth area JLL estimates there were about 1,672 branch bank locations last year. That’s down 2.3 percent – or about 39 storefronts – from 2016 and the lowest total in seven years.