Stores seek out Crescent City

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By Thea Skinner

Triplicate staff writer

Walgreens and Starbucks may want to open franchises in Crescent City on the heels of an economic push in the county.

Plans are in the works and an application is being made for Walgreens, said Will Caplinger, city planner and economic development specialist.

He warned against a presumption that their arrival is approved.

andquot;Any of these businesses can pull out of the process,andquot; Caplinger said. andquot;We went through this with Home Depot.andquot;

Walgreens is assessing the capability of property, located on Seventh Street between U.S. Hwy. 101 north and U.S. Hwy. 101 south, with the Architectural Review Committee.

andquot;We have not signed a lease on a building there,andquot; said Carol Hively, corporate spokeswoman for Deerfield, Ill.,-based Walgreens.

Although architect David Pierce submitted the application, andquot;we can not confirm that we will open a store there,andquot; Hively said.

No permit has been granted to Walgreens at this point, she said.

Walgreens chose the Crescent City market by researching andquot;projected growth, aging populations, people relocating, competition, growth in retail and highway development,andquot; Hively said.

andquot;As the baby boomers age, the demand for prescription drugs increases,andquot; she said. andquot;We are opening new markets and stores in existing markets.andquot;

Walgreens identified California as a andquot;rapid growth state,andquot; and one with good potential for the company to expand, she said.

andquot;We have an international real estate department,andquot; she said. andquot;They look at the number of people that pass by, medical services and where the local hospital is - factors that contribute to the demand of prescription drugs.andquot;

How long before the architectural review committee passes judgment on the application is unclear. Home Depot underwent two architectural reviews, Caplinger said.

andquot;I have not heard from the Architectural Review Committee yet for the design,andquot; he said. andquot;It is a problematic site. It is narrow for a commercial development - 240 feet between the property lines,andquot; he said. andquot;If you look at Safeway, they involve city right of ways. In this case, (the potential Walgreens building) is abandoned, so Eighth Street will not be developed between the highway.andquot;

The tight space between the highway corridors involves a standard city block.

If approved, Walgreens would sit north of Tsunami Lanes bowling alley on the opposite side of the street.

andquot;It will replace and demolish the old dry cleaner building,andquot; he said.

Two Starbucks locations are proposed, with at least one being inside Safeway and the other at Cooper and U.S. Hwy. 101.

This Starbucks is tentatively designed with a drive-through.

andquot;They will start capturing their share of the caffeine market,andquot; Caplinger said. andquot;They finished the architectural review.andquot;

The next step for Starbucks is to apply for a building permit.

Reach Thea Skinner at tskinner@triplicate.com

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