The Bank of Deerfield has taken down a more than century-old building at West Deerfield and South Main streets that most recently was the longtime home of Dance Studio 3-D and the Deerfield Community Center.
A demolition crew began leveling the 1917-era structure Friday morning, Dec. 27.
Deerfield Village Administrator Elizabeth McCredie said the bank obtained a razing permit from the village building inspector. She said no approval was required beyond that, including no Village Board or Plan Commission action.
The Bank of Deerfield bought the building from the Deerfield Community Center in March 2018. DCC had purchased it in February 2016 from Dance Studio 3-D owners Bob and Debbie Griggas, according to Dane County property records.
Dance Studio 3-D moved to Lake Mills in mid-2017, after more than 30 years of operating in Deerfield, mostly at 1 South Main Street. Debbie Griggas, today, continues to operate Dance Studio 3-D in Lake Mills.
DCC had for decades operated out of the building’s lower level with an entrance on West Deerfield Street. Though early 2018, the community center considered permanently spreading out onto both floors, including using the vacated dance studio space. However, it ultimately sold the property to the bank and moved to Liberty Commons on Liberty Street in mid-2019. The building at the corner of South Main and West Deerfield streets has been vacant since.
At the time of its purchase in 2018, bank president Sig Bringe said there were no immediate plans for the site.
The bank’s downtown branch is located two doors down at 15 S. Main St.
Bringe said the bank simply seized a chance, when the site came up for sale, to secure it for future needs. Combined with a previous purchase of a building in-between, that once housed a chiropractic office, the bank now owns a full block of Main Street from Liberty Street to West Deerfield Street.
“Our future plans are to potentially use it as an expansion area,” Bringe said at the time.
In an emailed statement on Dec. 27, the bank reiterated that it has no immediate plans for the now-vacant lot, but that it is eyeing the future.
“Over the past several years, as the community of Deerfield has grown, the Bank of Deerfield has experienced significant growth as well. With that, the bank began to acquire properties with an eye toward future expansion of our downtown bank facilities for the convenience of our customers,” the bank’s statement said. “While there are no definitive plans at this time, the bank’s intention is to utilize the area provided by the two adjoining properties located directly north of the Main Street location for future expansion.”
Since 1917, in addition to Dance Studio 3-D and the Deerfield Community Center, the building’s uses have included a Ford dealership, automobile service center and a large truck repair shop. The date 1917 and the words “Deerfield Motor Sales Co.,” recently clearly visible on the front brick façade, were not salvaged prior to the Dec. 27 demolition.