Walgreens pharmacy will supersize and move from corner to corner

Claremont officials are preparing for the development of a new Walgreens pharmacy as the drug store ditches its current digs on the northwest corner of Towne and Foothill in Pomona. Its new resting place? The southeast corner of Towne and Foothill.

The company is making preliminary plans to build a new store a matter of yards from its current location in order to take advantage of vacant space nesteled between Marie Callenders and the 76 Gas Station. As opposed to its currently restrictive quarters, the vacant space will allow the company to develop a proposed 14,550 square-foot structure with an adjoining drive-thru and room to spare.

Such a small move might seem a little silly, but there are no complaints or questions coming from Claremont’s development team. It’s a prime move as far as the city’s concerned.

“A full-service pharmacy is something that’s really needed in the city,” Mr. Desatnik said.

The new Walgreens will be the first full-service drug store within city limits, according to Mr. Desatnik, who notes the arrival has been long-awaited.

The city originally hoped to see the drugstore chain move into the Peppertree Square Shopping Center at Indian Hill and Arrow several years ago, but in a disappointing turn of events, the drug store pulled out in 2010. Officials say there are no solid plans as of yet for another drug store to fill vacant space within the Peppertree center, which is currently undergoing renovation.

In the meantime, Mr. Desatnik believes adding the large store to the Foothill Corridor will help fill the void in the meantime.

“It’s a prime corner, between 2 major arterials in the city and with the freeway interchange there is a lot of traffic coming that way,” he noted. “It’s a good location for this kind of store.”

While filling a need for residents, the store will provide some extra sales tax incentive for the city. A pharmacy of this size can be expected to generate somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 per year in local sales, Mr. Desatnik estimated.

Architectural commissioners did note several suggestions to ensure the new business does not impede on neighboring residential communities. Among their suggestions was creating a taller wall and landscaping features to the rear of the complex to buffer the homes from the business.

While the project is still in the preliminary phase of development and will need several reviews before groundbreaking begins, including council approval, overall Mr. Desatnik and the development team are pleased with the proposal. They look forward to continuing to fill vacancies along one of the city’s main thoroughfares.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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