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CVS pharmacy faces fight at State and 17th streets

CVS Pharmacy wants to build a store at 17th and State streets. Image from Boise Planning and Development Services.

CVS Pharmacy wants to build a store at 17th and State streets. Image from Boise Planning and Development Services.

CVS, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, walked away from building a store at Capitol Boulevard Ann Morrison Park Drive in August only to take on a likely neighborhood battle at State and 17th streets.

T.M. Crowley & Associates, an Indianapolis-based developer, filed Sept. 26 for a conditional-use permit for a drive-thru window for a CVS Pharmacy at 1624 W. State St. It was the first filing at Boise Planning and Development Services for this project.

CVS proposes a 14,853-square-foot store at the corner of State and 17th, where State Farm agent Jay Stevenor owns an office building. Stevenor declined to comment.

CVS also wants to demolish the two-story Arcade Apartments building, two homes converted into offices and an existing home, according to the PDS filing.

The CVS Pharmacy plan calls for demolishing the Arcade Apartments on State Street near 17th Street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The CVS Pharmacy plan calls for demolishing the Arcade Apartments on State Street near 17th Street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

T.M. Crowley is the developer who is awaiting a building permit to start construction of Idaho’s first free-standing CVS Pharmacy at Fairview Avenue and Cole Road. The State Street pharmacy would be the second free-standing CVS in Idaho.

T.M. Crowley had applied June 27 to build the second store at Capitol Boulevard and Ann Morrison Park, but that application was withdrawn Aug. 16. Tenants in the Fisher Retail Building at that corner in July did not think a move was imminent.

“I still own the building,” building owner Kelly Fisher said at the time. “I don’t have a sell date scheduled. We might stay forever. Who knows?”

CVS does have two pharmacies inside Target stores in Nampa and Twin Falls that opened in April 2016 after CVS purchased more than 1,660 Target pharmacies in 2015.

Cody Herbster, vice president of real estate at T.M. Crowley, did not respond to calls from the Idaho Business Review.

Technically in the West Downtown Neighborhood, CVS’s proposed second freestanding pharmacy in Idaho has the North End Neighborhood Association Facebook page up in arms with more than 45 comments and at least 20 people clicking the “angry” button.

Autumn Street wrote on Facebook: “The absolute last thing anyone needs there is a pharmacy. Within three blocks there are already three others: Albertson’s, Rite Aid, and Customedica.”

CVS Pharmacy proposes building a store where this State Farm office is located on State Street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

CVS Pharmacy proposes building a store where this State Farm office is located on State Street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Suzanne Troje wrote on Facebook: “Those are some cool buildings being taking out for a cookie cutter.”

In an e-mail to the Idaho Business Review, North End Neighborhood Association board member Stephen R. Miller wrote: “The problem is this:  The site CVS has chosen requires the demolition of five buildings, four of which are historic-eligible, meaning that they are more than 50 years old.  The project would largely replace these fine-scaled buildings with nearly a block of parking.  This tears at the fabric of the neighborhood and, if the permits are granted, it is almost certain that other chains will feel emboldened to seek similar demolitions in the neighborhood.”

That block has no local historic district designation and the city of Boise has not surveyed the properties for historic designation, said Sarah Schafer, Boise’s design review and historic preservation manager.

“The neighborhoods are working with city staff on a conservation overlay zone for that area,” Schafer said.

The drive-thru window designation will be considered Nov. 13 by the Boise Planning & Zoning Commission.

“We plan to fight to retain our neighborhood’s character,” Miller wrote.

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.