CVS Pharmacy proposed at busy Columbia intersection
A national pharmacy wants to move to Columbia, but the location chosen may cause controversy.
The Columbia Leadership Council met Tuesday to review updated plans.
New outlines and drawings were presented at the meeting, but still met with hesitation by council members.
Complaints included the CVS building is too suburban of a design for downtown Columbia and whatever is decided will stay in Columbia for years to come, the council must feel confident in the design because it will impact the community's design.
City planners tell ABC 17 News that CVS Pharmacy is trying to buy the southeast corner of Providence Road and Broadway.
Three buildings would be demolished if the CVS deal is approved. One building houses McAdams Jewelry Shop, another Alley Cat Yoga and the third is the Old Icehouse.
These businesses lease the buildings; the owner has to get the land rezoned before selling to the pharmacy.
"The planned business district provides an opportunity for additional review and public involvement," said Steve MacIntyre, Columbia city planner.
MacIntyre confirms that the property is run by the Mary M. Hackett Trust and that an agreement between the trust and CVS for purchase exists.
CVS developers have been looking for a Columbia location for years, but didn't find the ideal spot until now, adding another piece to Columbia's growing patchwork of construction and growth.
"We've seen a lot of new development downtown which is more of the form of student apartment complexes lately. The addition of residents living downtown may also be something that is triggering additional interest on behalf of retailers," said MacIntyre.
Once a city reaches a certain population level, it can attract larger companies.
MacIntyre says Columbia's population is well over that golden number now.
"Often people say once you reach 100,000, the community comes onto the radar of a number of franchise businesses, so that may be part of why they are coming to Columbia now," MacIntyre said.
The planning and zoning commission meet again for further discussion on Sept. 9.
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