Frankly, I was hoping to dust the blog off on a happier note than this one, but I want to get this in front of as many eyes as possible. I covered this over on Voices, but just in case there are any of you who (used to) read this blog and not that one, the abridged version is that Walgreens is trying to move approximately 150 yards onto the corner where Everybody’s and the Gaslight sit. If you know the area at all, or you’ve ever been to Everybody’s, you can imagine how the locals feel about this. It’s a feeling I share. If you have five minutes to spare, I’d ask you to like the Facebook page and email both City Council and Walgreens. Everybody’s is what P Ridge is most widely known for, and frankly, I don’t know how well that business would weather a move. More to the point, the people that live in the community don’t want to see it go either. I’m not entirely sure how much good it will do, but my hope is that if the outcry against it becomes loud enough, Walgreens will back off. The letter that’s posted on the Facebook page sums it up pretty nicely:
As a member of the Pleasant Ridge Community, I am writing you concerning a problem that has come about in Pleasant Ridge.
The word is out that Walgreens/Anchor Management is attempting to purchase the Southeast corner of Ridge and Montgomery Roads. Their intent is to tear down existing buildings and locate a new Walgreens there (one block from their existing store)
The first and biggest concern would be increased vehicle traffic. This intersection is used constantly by child pedestrians on the way to and from the three elementary schools within one or two blocks of the intersection. Many children walk this route to and from the local swimming pool and other events at the Pleasant Ridge community center.
Secondly, Pleasant Ridge would lose nine businesses that have over 150 years in business between them in the community. Up to 100 jobs would be lost. I am also concerned about the impact on the remaining businesses (i.e. Mullaney’s Pharmacy, which may be the oldest existing business in Pleasant Ridge).
A third concern would be the existing building abandoned by Walgreens. In College Hill, The Wigwam Restaurant was bought and razed. Many years later, there still sits an empty lot. College Hill lost it’s cornerstone business, and is still trying to recover.
The Pleasant Ridge Community has worked long and hard to have a pedestrian friendly, diversified business district, as outlined in the 2000 Urban Design Study. This would set back the business, as well as the overall community, greatly.