Search on to find ‘right fit’ for Capital One building

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Workers from Liberty Moving & Storage pack up the final items from Capital One Bank building in Mattituck, which is now vacant.

Nearly two years after Capital One Bank announced it was closing the doors of its Mattituck operations center, the Main Road building is officially on the market.

Local officials now have the daunting task of trying to find new tenants for a one-of-a-kind commercial space in an economy that still has yet to rebound from the “Great Recession.”

This week Supervisor Scott Russell floated the idea of a long-term pediatric care facility for the property.

“It’s something we don’t have in our area,” Mr. Russell said. “We are trying to find the right fit.”

He is currently working with county officials to find a new occupant, but admits that may not happen anytime soon.

“It’s a very large building in a very small town,” he said. “It’s going to be hard.”

The building originally housed a supermarket and later became the headquarters for North Fork Bank. When North Fork moved its headquarters to Melville, the space was used for back-office support services.

The company that would become North Fork Bank & Trust in 1950 started in 1905 as Mattituck Bank. From its humble beginnings, North Fork Bank acquired Southold Savings Bank in 1988. Under the direction of former president John Kanas, a one-time teacher and deli owner, North Fork then began an era of rapid expansion and acquired several New York City-area financial institutions.

North Fork was absorbed in 2006 by the much larger Capital One, which acquired it for $13.2 billion.

In August 2011, Capital One Bank made the decision to consolidate a majority of its back-office work, then located in Mattituck, to Richmond, Va., and Melville.

Moving trucks arrived late last week. Julie Rakes, a spokesperson for Capital One, said the Mattituck office is now vacant. The company is working with Melville-based broker Dan Oliver of Newmark Frank Knight and the town to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Russell said he wants a tenant that will bolster economic growth in Southold Town. When Capital One moved its offices in 2011, about 135 people were let go; another 65 or so were laid off in 2012.

Mr. Russell said creating a timetable to find a suitable tenant would be “foolish” under current economic conditions, but he also said he was “all ears” to any proposals.

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