Update: Drugstore drive-through gets city clearance

October 9, 2013
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A city zoning board on Tuesday approved a developer’s request for a drugstore drive-through as part of a mixed-use project to be built on the Indianapolis Star's current headquarters property.

pulliam-square-cvs-225pxThe drugstore, presumably a CVS from the looks of the architect’s rendering, is expected to anchor TWG Development LLC’s Pulliam Place project. The drive-through would be accessed from North Delaware Street.

If CVS follows through, the pharmacy’s store at 105 E. Ohio St., about a block from the Star building, likely would close. CVS also has a downtown store at 175 N. Illinois St. Neither location has a drive-through.

The Star last week confirmed that it has finalized a lease with Simon Property Group Inc. to take 100,000 square feet of the space formerly occupied by Nordstrom at Circle Centre mall. The newspaper plans to move sometime next summer.

TWG’s plans for the Star property call for up to 500 apartments in three buildings. Two of those buildings already exist and the other is to be constructed near the parking garage at the corner of Delaware and New York streets. The building will include 135 apartment units and about 20,000 square feet of retail space, with the CVS occupying at least half. Construction should start by Nov. 1.

TWG in May finalized the purchase of the 190,000-square-foot Star property at 307 N. Pennsylvania St. and its 500-space parking garage with the Star’s parent company, Virginia-based Gannett Co.

The city zoning board approved the variance needed for the drive-through by a 3-0 vote.

The architect on the project is Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects.

  • Fantastic news!
    CVS is a real bonus at this location. One of the primary goals through the retail associated with downtown apartments is to attract a crowd with deep pockets. Creating an exemption to the city's Design Guidelines to allow a drive-thru drugstore is exactly what the Mile Square needs to really lure in young professionals and affluent empty nesters. This combined with filling the Nordstrom space with the offices to our perpetually shrinking city newspaper should be the golden ticket to turning Indy into one of the country's pre-eminent downtowns.
  • WOW
    You have got to be kidding me.
  • to Sassafras:
    I really enjoyed your comment. It's a fine art to draw the reader in, get them going one way, and then reward them with sarcasm. I wonder if anyone showed up to remonstrate against the variance. I would've, but quite frankly, I didn't know/remember that is was going to be heard yesterday.
  • Not That Bad...
    I absolutely get the arguments against having this, and I support them to a degree. I walk from 21st Street down to the Circle nearly everyday, and I try to avoid my car as much as possible. However, a large number of people downtown are driving, and the way the store is configured, it would be easy to zip in there going north on Delaware on your way home. It's also not like they're dumping a suburban store into onto the corner like they did at 16th and Meridian. It is integrated into the design, and it looks like there is some sort of building access through there, too. So, while I understand people's consternation, I also don't see this as tantamount to an architectural hate crime.
  • disgusting
    What is the point in having development guidelines for the mile square if our zoning board doesn't give a sh*t about them? We are going to allow a drive thru TWO BLOCKS from Monument Circle??? DISGUSTING.
  • Positive Side
    I know a number of people are not going to be happy about this but it is important to look at the big picture. CVS can justify the cost of moving their store and building a larger more full service location if it includes a drive-through. I think they reached a good compromise with the way they located this. I also see a comment was made about the Star locating in the Nordstom space. While I was against that at first it also has a positive, it fills some of the 1st floor space but still leaves 120K sf open for other retailers. If you are a business do you want to locate next to an empty dept store or a business with 800 employees?? Long term I still would prefer this all go back to retail but for now this may be the best solution until the demand is there for this to return to full retail.
  • Wow indeed
    You got to be kidding me?! While I almost understand why this makes sense, what about the 2 current downtown CVS's? More soon-to-be wasted/vacant space? Downtown doesn't need more of that as a start. Secondly, I walked by and occasionally went inside the CVS on Ohio St for about 2 years. I hope the people moving into the new apts in the Indy Star bldg like a bunch of trash hanging around because that's all that seems to go to that CVS.
  • Seriously, Ben?
    Come on... The current CVS is terrible, and it needed to go away anyway. I hope this one stays open 24 hours, too. And frankly, it makes total business sense for CVS to move, since they will be the closest store for 500-1000 people in the Pullium (not to mention all the surrounding apartments). I can see the current CVS becoming a restaurant, which is what it would be much better suited for.
  • lol
    Some of the comments on here are hilarious. This drive through is located so as to have as minimal impact on the urban environment as possible. I really don't have a problem with it. It really is quite a creative solution. As for the relocating of the Indy Star offices into a portion of the old Nordstrom space: At first I, too, thought it a bad idea but I've come around. Retaining 800 workers downtown when they easily could have fled to the suburbs and moving them closer to the core of the business district (where, hopefully, they'll provide added customers for existing businesses and draw new ones) is a POSITIVE thing. If you can't see that you're being very shortsighted.
  • IndyStar in Nordstrom
    Marshall--was there even a whisper of a hint that Indy Star was thinking of fleeing to the suburbs? If so, then you might have a case. Is Indy Star going to have 800 employees in ten years? What about five?
  • Indy Star
    Sassafras- Yes Indy Star did hint they were considering the suburbs and said they were glad they were able to find a suitable location to "remain" downtown. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone expects them to still have 800 employess in 5-10 years but my guess is they signed a 5 year lease so they will re-evaluate their needs at that time. For now they can have a positive effect on that area of downtown. With downtown residential growing the way it is, hopefully in 5 years a dept store will be waiting to grab that space if Indy Star decides to move again. Right now they offer a good solution to help downtown keep moving forward based on current demands.
  • Drive through just not needed
    No, having this drive-through under the building isn't going to ruin downtown. But on the other hand, there was no need to grant a variance from the zoning ordinance to allow it, and it will result in more cars driving through the path of pedestrians. Some of those drivers would've walked over or parked on the street, if there weren't a drive-through. The upside is that it's only a drugstore drive-through, so we can hope it doesn't get much use and cars don't ever queue out across the Delaware Street sidewalk. I don't know what was wrong with the location at Ohio & Delaware though. Been there many times without a problem. Sure, they can build a new one if they want, but that shouldn't justify varying the ordinance IMHO. And I don't doubt that they could've designed it better, but I didn't show up to remonstrate, so I'll go ahead and zip it now.
  • Retail
    While I respect the opinions expressed in this thread, I think you have to realize the extreme difficulty in getting developers to commit to ground floor retail, even in the heart of downtown. Most only want 100% residential, which is the most cost- and profit-effective use right now. The Regional Center Design Guidelines require first floor retail, which this provides. It also, allows (I know you won't believe this) commercial drive-through pick-up windows when not facing a 40-foot or wider public street. This is a pick-up lane for prescriptions, not a traditional drive-through and is off of the former alley right-of-way a full 70 feet from the Delaware Street right-of-way. I invite you to see the final site plans. Note: the new proposed residential development at 501 Virginia is proposing a pick-up teller lane for a bank inside the building. If you note, the Mozzo is without any retail next door.
  • Yeah!!!
    So happy we're getting a drive through store downtown and ecstatic that the Star is moving to Circle Centre-a real long term tenant with a good reputation not dependent on retail sales to stay afloat!
  • better than Star staying
    A pharma drive thru might attract 2 to 3 cars at a time, so no big deal, and we must remember our zoning laws have forced us to get variances to get any modern design done these days. Even the Design Guideline main writers and supporters have violated them time and time again. The Star let that property sit ugly for decades, so an integrated CVS will be welcomed by most of us! I just hate seeing the old Ginkgo trees along Delaware being taken down....maybe they'll save the ones in front of the garage?
    Good god that's abysmal. Indy- setting new standards for mediocrity.

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