When Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy opens its new location on Providence Road, Kevin Brown won’t have to spend seven minutes trying to get out of his car and to the door — he’ll just use the drive-through.
The Columbia City Council unanimously approved the development of the pharmacy with a drive-through entrance, which will end the “ordeal” of picking up prescriptions for customers and wheelchair users like Brown.
“My time is valuable,” Brown said in support of the pharmacy at Monday night’s meeting. “Don’t dismiss the idea of a drive-through as a convenience. It’s a necessity.”
The council’s approval of the plan ends more than 20 years of opposition to commercial development along North Providence Road, where surrounding neighborhoods feared it would soon resemble the concrete and wires of Business Loop 70.
Bob Kilgore, the pharmacy’s owner, said he worked with the Ridgeway, Douglass and North Central neighborhood associations to ensure residents would support the construction of his pharmacy on the 1.76-acre lot across from them.
Some residents had originally hoped for office buildings on the lot instead of a commercial property.
“Having an opportunity for Kilgore’s Pharmacy to be in this location is appropriate,” Linda Rootes, founder of the North Central Neighborhood Association, said. “This is a very limited retail service-oriented business that’s very much needed in the neighborhood.”
The council approved the construction of a regular driveway into the pharmacy, so traffic can enter from two sides. Sixth Ward Councilman Brian Ash said cars making left turns onto Providence might disrupt the existing traffic volume on Providence Road.
“It can be dangerous and can limit traffic flow if people are trying to get out on the street,” he said, adding that as part of the agreement, the Missouri Department of Transportation can make changes to the plan if traffic accidents become an issue at the driveway.
A wider driveway and larger building will allow the pharmacy to carry more health-care products and serve more customers, Kilgore said. He’ll also have more parking than at his current location, 26 Business Loop 70 E. Kilgore also has a pharmacy on Chapel Hill Road in south Columbia. Although Kilgore’s will provide more products, he said his business doesn’t need to compete with the larger pharmacy chains in the area.
“We’ve grown to be where we just don’t have room to provide the level of service that we want to provide,” Kilgore said of his existing store. “We’re moving to take care of our patients in a better fashion, not to compete with the big guy down the street.”