The Walgreens planned for the corner of Mill Street and South Main Street in Unionville center will not have street access when it is constructed in the spring.
The new pharmacy, approved at a recent Town Plan and Zoning Commission meeting, was to be reminiscent of the shops in old Unionville while at the same time taking the village into the next – and long awaited – step in revitalization. But the plan was also to promote pedestrian traffic.
Design of the store was crafted by the developer in conjunction with the Unionville Museum and the Unionville Architectural Review Board, drawing on photos of the old mill that stood at 50 Mill St. The developer, Sound Development LLC, did everything requested by local groups, including the New Horizons Village Tenants Association, which advocates for accessibility in the area.
But, while accommodating the unique design, Walgreens Corporation refused to allow for a functional door facing the street, Sound Development project manager Gary Eucalito explained Monday night at the Town Plan and Zoning Commission meeting.
“Walgreens flat out refused to use that door,” Eucalito said. “It’s an economic reason as much as security; you’d have to have two sets of registers. We fought with them for a month and a half and they just won’t move forward.”
But the New Horizons Tenants Association, the architectural review board and town staff seem to be satisfied with a single door at street level opening into the parking lot off Mill Street. That door would be fully ADA compliant, Eucalito said.
The second door will still serve as an emergency exit and might one day be used for entrance and exit, Eucalito said.
Local groups wanted to ensure the project would continue to go forward.
“The UARB continued to work with the applicant, modified the aesthetics so it will look exactly like … a normal functioning entry and exit,” Town Planner Jeffrey Ollendorf said. “The board doesn’t want to see this project stopped but looks forward to working with Walgreens in future on this.”
“Over time we felt we would be able to show them we’re a good market and convince them to make it a fully functional entrance and exit,” Ollendorf said.
Eucalito said he plans to break ground within the next 4 to 6 weeks and is currently awaiting approval from the state Department of Transportation. No decision has yet been made on whether the store will be open 24 hours.