Property owners hope to open branch in the fall at 630 East Blithedale Ave., the former site of the Mill Valley Gas Station.

The longtime home of one of Mill Valley’s busiest gas stations is currently a fenced-off vacant dirt lot – and the future home of a 4,100-square-foot Chase Bank branch.

Six years after its previous owners battled to get City Hall’s approval to expand Mill Valley Gas Station at one of Mill Valley’s most landmark intersections, the new owners of the nearly 36,000-square-foot property at 630 East Blithedale Ave. at Camino Alto say they are about six months away from having their tenant Chase Bank open its first local branch.

“The building is going to be a really nice design that fits very well at that location,” said Dan Almquist, managing partner at Frontier Real Estate Investments, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm. “It’s going to be a great addition to Mill Valley.”

Almquist said his firm is approximately 45 days away from getting its construction drawings approved by City Hall, and the subsequent construction should take another four months.

To date, crews have removed all of the Mill Valley Gas Station, including its three unleaded and diesel fuel tanks and related piping underground underground. Almquist said his firm has redeveloped a number of former gas station properties, and that the project has received approval from the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The plan, which was approved by the Mill Valley Planning Commission in December 2013, calls for a single-story, 4,113-square-foot bank branch with one walk-up ATM inside and one outside, and a drive-through ATM outside as well. You can ready the full staff report on the proposal here.

The approval came after multiple study sessions before the commission, with commissioners in May 2013 relaying a series of concerns about the proposed location and angle of the building, its height, the corporate look, feel and color of its signs and the need to have the building materials be “authentic.”

Chase Bank architect Douglas Fong said at the time that Chase could address those concerns, and the commission approved the amended proposal in December.

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