Walgreens construction under way

March 12, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

Construction of a new 14,000 square-foot Walgreens began late last week with the ongoing demolition of The Four Seasons Buffet & Grill at the intersection of Imperial Avenue and Main Street in El Centro.

Mayor Larry Grogan said the restaurant was his mother-in-law's favorite but change is coming to the area.

"We're encouraged by any commercial development along Imperial Avenue in view of the shopping mall coming in," he said, adding the corridor might become a specialty business area. "I think this will be a changing environment for Imperial Avenue."

The Walgreens developer, Phoenix-based Evergreen Devco Inc., could not be reached for comment.

The store will be open 24 hours, have a one-hour photo operation, a pharmacy with a drive-up window, as well as carry typical drug store merchandise including cosmetics and magazines. The store's architectural drawings were submitted to the city in February.

The project will include a controversial left turn out of the north parking lot onto northbound Imperial Avenue. Such a movement of traffic so close to the intersection was initially rejected by the City Council, but later voted to allow the turning movement, reserved the right to prohibit the move in the future. Councilman Jack Dunnam voted "no."


Meanwhile, Cathy Kennerson, chief executive officer of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, said Walgreens will provide healthy competition for other pharmacies, as well as new employment.

"I am happy to see the project under way," she said.

The store is reportedly expected to open toward the end of the summer.

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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