Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Walgreens on Delaware Avenue (not!)

It seems that Walgreens is interested in creating more open paved space in the city, according to the January 10, 2006 Buffalo News. According to the article, no one is commenting on anything, which is a sure sign that something is happening. The problem is not that a company is interested in building a new store in the city. The problem is that the company is not interested in fitting into the city. Case in point: the Walgreens that is on Delaware and North: a huge parking lot and huge ugly building. The Walgreens on Hertel Ave near Parkside has a huge store, with a beautiful blank wall fronting the sidewalk, a parking lot that is rarely as much as half full, and a very un-community-friendly parking restriction (no one can ever park in the lot unless they are going to the store). Let's look at the numbers:

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave (Delaware and North) to the Walgreens at 1556 Hertel Ave: 3.9 travel miles (thanks to Google maps).

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave to the store at 3170 Delaware Ave, Kenmore: 4.9 travel miles.

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave to the store at 2043 Kensington Ave: 7.4 travel miles.

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave to the store at 3605 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (near Millersport): 6.8 travel miles.

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave to the store at 2601 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (near Parker): 7.1 travel miles.


Now, the location beign discussed is roughly 1373-1389 Delaware Ave. So, the distances would be:

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave (Delaware and North) to the desired location at 1381 Delaware Ave: 1.4 travel miles!

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 1556 Hertel Ave to the proposed location: 2.5 travel miles.

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 3170 Delaware Ave, Kenmore to the proposed location: 2.5 travel miles.


Based on these numbers, I think that there is little need for a store at that location. But, hey, that's just me. However, one reason why I think they are interested in this location is that it fits their model of of cross-street location. Just look at the ones at Hertel and Parkside, Delaware and North, Sheridan and Parker, etc. They like to have the corner, double entrance/exit, easy in/out, drive through simple location, and this one fits.

Now, besides the number of and the (lack of) distance between these stores, the issue is the footprint and structure. The problem here is the waste of space for parking and the bombing of existing and functional structures that fit into the neighborhood, or better, define the neighborhood. The result is a structure that if you were blindfolded and dropped two feet in front of, you'd have no idea where you were (welcome to Generic Strip Mall USA!). While I recognize this may be the goal of the company, it should not be allowed. What makes Buffalo so much better than most US cities is that it still does have character and a soul. We need to keep it while we move forward.

I am not opposed to anyone (well, almost anyone. Walmart is the obvious exception) opening a store in the city, but we (the citizens, the ones who have to go by the building every day, the ones who have to pay to maintain the roads that the delivery trucks drive on) get to have a say. We don't need another drugstore there. So if Walgreens decides to pull out, so what. It has been a functioning location before, and will be again, even if the owner sells. It's bad enough that Delaware and Elmwood on the north edge of the city have become Transit Road-like. We don't need that rot to continue down to the core of the city.

Get my Drift?

Update:
Somehow, I forgot about the Walgreens at Main and Kenmore near the UB South Campus. The updated numbers are:

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave (Delaware and North) to the desired location at 1381 Delaware Ave: 1.4 travel miles!

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 650 Delaware Ave (Delaware and North) to the Walgreens at 3488 Main St: 4.9 travel miles

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 3488 Main St to the proposed location at 1381 Delaware Ave: 3.7 travel miles

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 1556 Hertel Ave to the Walgreens at 3488 Main St: 2.0 travel miles.

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 3488 Main St to the store at 3605 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (near Millersport): 1.9 travel miles.

  • Distance from the Walgreens at 3488 Main St to the store at 2043 Kensington Ave: 2.8 travel miles.

  • Distance from the Walgreens 3605 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (near Millersport) to the store at 2601 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (near Parker): 2.0 travel miles.


Get my Drift?

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