The Planning Commission awarded Walgreens a minor special use permit to open a branch in the old bank building at the corner of Orange Avenue and 9th Street.
The building has been vacant since Petco moved out. The vote was 3 to 0, with commissioners Doug St. Denis and Scott Grimes absent. No members of the public spoke out against the project.
The drug store chain hopes to open the store in December of 2012. "We are looking forward to making our opening part of Coronado's Holiday Festival next year," Walgreens representative Amy Ciolek said.
Before that to make it more village friendly. It won’t be a “Walgreens formula, but something unique to Coronado,” the project’s architect John Ziebarth promised.
The new store will also stock products "tailored to Coronado,” Ciolek said.
Besides drugs and sundries, plans for the new store include offerings of fresh produce and flowers. It also will have a consultation area, where customers can meet one-on-one with a pharmacist to discuss their medications.
“We want this to be a destination for wellness needs,” Ciolek said.
The project had the full backing of the Chamber of Commerce Board. “We are excited about their plans to revitalize a key bookend property,” said Karen Finch, chamber President/CEO.
Main Street took no official position, but its executive director Rita Sarich thanked Clolek and Ziebarth for meeting with its members, listening to their suggestions and incorporating many of their ideas, something she said was unprecedented for a major corporation.
“They didn’t tell us what was needed. They asked us what was needed,” Sarich said.
The two met with community groups so often that Sarich said she felt "Amy was already a member of the community."
There was some discussion that a petition was being readied to oppose the project and there had been some complaints on local blogs, but no one came to the public hearing to weigh in against the project.
Unless someone appeals the decision within the next ten days, the project will proceed.
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Ciolek's name.