Central West End Takes First Big Step Toward Better Urban Planning: Suburban CVS Not Welcome

{rendering of proposed CVS pharmacy at Lindell and Sarah}

The Central West End and St. Louis City has take a big step towards better urban development. A proposal to build a CVS store at the corner of Lindell and Sarah has been unanimously voted down by the West Pine-Laclede Neighborhood Association, whose support is critical in moving the development forward. The CVS and surrounding parking lot would have replaced the three buildings on the southwest corner of the Lindell/Sarah intersection.

As mentioned on the 17th Ward website, the CWE South is currently undergoing planning to revise the existing dated development zoning and code. Sarah Street has seen a renewed focus on retail, restaurants and pedestrian access. The Six North development is just a few years old, the Center for Emerging Technology is expanding in the area, the West End Loft development has added more residential to Sarah and the northwest corner of Laclede and Sarah is targeted for development. The CVS proposal runs counter to the good development work that has been done in the neighborhood. It is encouraging to see the CWE South reject more of what has been allowed to be built on Lindell, take control of future development and demand better.

{the southwest corner of Lindell/Sarah}

{proposed CVS siteplan}

The story below is from the 17th Ward website (emphasis is my own). Visit www.17thwardstl.com for more.

A CWE South neighborhood association has given the cold shoulder to a proposal for a CVS pharmacy on Lindell Boulevard. The West Pine-Laclede Neighborhood Association voted unanimously not to support the project at its monthly meeting Tuesday, Aug. 11.

The preliminary proposal calls for a new two-story CVS pharmacy at the southwest corner of Lindell and Sarah, replacing the former St. Louis Housing Authority building as well as two office buildings to the west.

Harold Karabell and Dan Hellmuth of West Pine-Laclede Neighborhood Association’s Development Committee had previously reviewed the plans with representatives from CVS and CWE Midtown Development Executive Director Dan Krasnoff. …

Karabell said while the plan might be appropriate for a suburban location, it did not meet the neighborhood’s criteria for urban design. “We personally as the Development Committee and as individuals could not give our blessing to an anti-urban plan of this nature,” he said.

The CVS plan also shows a drive-through pharmacy, with vehicles exiting through the alley between Lindell and West Pine. Several neighbors who live on the block behind the proposed pharmacy objected to the alley access as well as the store’s round-the-clock hours. Some neighbors questioned why another pharmacy was needed so close to Walgreens and Schnucks.

While CVS has mixed-use, urban buildings in other cities, company officials maintained that according to their market research, St. Louisans insist on convenience, including drive-through service and plentiful parking, Karabell said. …

Representatives from CVS were seeking the neighborhood’s support for the project before moving ahead with a formal proposal. CVS would need approval from the city’s Preservation Board to demolish the buildings and a zoning variance for the drive-through. The company has not yet acquired the property.


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