CVS presents plan for new downtown Columbia store

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | 9:12 p.m. CDT; updated 11:48 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 28, 2013

*The Columbia City Council will vote on the rezoning at its Sept. 3 meeting. An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect date for the meeting.

COLUMBIA — McAdams' Ltd. has been in business for almost 40 years but might be getting the boot from its store on Providence Road because the landlord plans to sell the building to CVS, the national pharmacy chain. 

Concerns about traffic flow and conflicts of interest were raised from two attendees at a public information meeting Tuesday for a new CVS store planned for the southeast corner at the intersection of Providence and Broadway. Rebecca Fahrendorf, owner of McAdams' Ltd., was in attendance and spoke against the plan.

The meeting was set to discuss concerns between CVS and interested parties, so problems could be addressed before the case moves to the Planning and Zoning Commission for approval Aug. 8, city planner Steve MacIntyre said.

CVS's proposed plan for the approximately 1.39 acre lot would include demolishing three buildings: the old ice house at 320 E. Broadway, the building where McAdams' Ltd. currently operates at 32 S. Providence and the building currently housing alleyCat Yoga at 23 S. Fourth St. 

The site is currently dual zoned as a General Industrial District and Central Business District. CVS is requesting the whole plot be rezoned as a Planned Business District.

The plan for the drive-through pharmacy would alter traffic flows on Providence and Broadway. The plan proposes a right-in, right-out entrance from Providence. This would also restrict left turn traffic in and out of Cherry Street, which serves Walgreens and the shopping plaza behind it.

A conflict of interest point was brought up at the meeting, questioning whether limiting traffic for one business, CVS, would be fair to other surrounding businesses that would be affected by traffic restrictions. A main concern was busy football Saturdays, when many visitors might not follow restricted traffic rules. 

Robert Hollis, the attorney representing CVS at the meeting, said a traffic analysis found that the plan would eliminate the numerous current access points to the site, which would actually improve traffic flow near the intersection. 

MacIntyre said the city's stance on the traffic issue was hinging on the Missouri Department of Transportation's traffic review, which hasn't been completed yet. To move forward with the plan, CVS needs MoDOT's approval about changing traffic on Providence and city approval for Broadway traffic and zoning changes. 

As for the old ice house, MacIntyre and Hollis disagreed about its status as a historical building.

The building is listed on the Flat Branch historic walk on The District website.

"It hasn't officially been classified as historical due to deterioration and several modifications to the original structure," MacIntyre said. 

MacIntyre also mentioned that the McAdams' Ltd. building currently hangs over Flat Branch Creek, so redevelopment would have to take place no matter who owns the building. The new CVS would eliminate that issue.

Fahrendorf said Tuesday at the meeting that she had been trying to buy the building for years but "they won't let us."

Hollis declined to comment on whether or not CVS is also looking to open a store near the Walgreens at the intersection of Nifong and Forum Boulevards or at other locations in Columbia. 

The case is planned to be reviewed at the Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 8 and set for a final decision by the Columbia City Council on Sept. 3*. 

Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.

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Richard Saunders July 17, 2013 | 2:42 p.m.

Wanna bet that someone's lease doesn't get renewed regardless of the outcome of this political process?

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble July 17, 2013 | 2:51 p.m.

Another chapter in what progress currently looks like in Columbia: first a tidal wave of expensive off-campus dorms, then a downtown Wal-Mart, and now a CVS going in right across the street from Walgreens - and thus, not serving any new part of town or providing any new services - and displacing two active local businesses in the process.

If evidence was lacking that Columbia is for sale to the highest out-of-town corporate bidder, it's not lacking now.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield July 17, 2013 | 3:12 p.m.

Wow, Kevin, bitter much? There's always Boonville if you prefer to live in a community that is stuck in old ways instead of moving forward.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble July 17, 2013 | 3:57 p.m.

Jimmy, re: "bitter much?" - snark is just passive-aggressive bitterness that doesn't want to own up to it.

It's curious that you think of a concept as old as redundant chain stores as "moving forward", as opposed to "old ways". In what precise sense are the examples I mentioned "moving forward"? Is it your forward-facing destination to have Columbia look just like every other generic mid-size community in the country?

(Report Comment)
Ken Geringer July 17, 2013 | 6:12 p.m.

What is an historical building?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield July 17, 2013 | 7:51 p.m.

Kevin, there are plenty of places in this town where you can get the help you need. Boonville, not so much.

(Report Comment)

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