Buildings come down for new store, more parking

January 21, 1998

Buildings come down for new store, more parking


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Buildings are coming down in Chambersburg to make way for two parking lots and a drug store scheduled to open this summer.

Demolition of almost a dozen homes began Monday between East Queen Street and Lincoln Way East at Fourth Street, where a 12,500-square-foot Rite Aid drug store and a parking lot for 50 vehicles will be built.

Residents who lived in the 11 homes targeted for demolition moved out over the summer.

Construction of the drug store is expected to start in the spring with an opening planned for sometime in July, said Jody Cook, spokeswoman for Rite Aid at its Camp Hill, Pa., headquarters.


Rite Aid will spend about $1.5 million on the project, which includes construction and the purchase of the land and the homes.

Following an industry trend of one-stop shopping, the new "state-of-the-art" store will offer a variety of services like convenience food, one-hour film processing and a private consulting window at the pharmacy, Cook said.

Wider aisles and lower shelves will ease access for handicapped customers, and there will be a drive-up pharmacy window, Cook said.

The latter "is especially popular with our elderly customers or those who have small children," she said.

A business center called Rite Express wll provide services like copying, faxing, shipping and mailing, she said.

The new Rite Aid store will join two others in Chambersburg.

On Tuesday, demolition crews began tearing down the former Madden Hotel on Main Street for another parking lot big enough for nearly 20 vehicles.

The site must be cleared within 30 days and construction of the lot will likely begin in the spring, said Paul E. Cullinane Jr., executive director of Downtown Chambersburg Inc.

Plans are to create an attractive parking lot, landscaped with trees and lighting, not just a flat, blacktopped area lined with spaces, he said.

It hasn't been determined yet whether the lot will be for metered or permitted parking.

The hotel's demise is part of a land swap deal between Chambersburg Borough and the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation.

The borough agreed to exchange land along the Falling Spring, currently a metered parking lot, to the development corporation in exchange for the hotel site.

The development corporation has plans to construct two office buildings and a brick walkway on the site as part of a master plan to create The Village on the Falling Spring.

Occupants of the buildings will likely be commercial businesses and possibly some small retail or specialty shops.

The borough and the development corporation have agreed to share the cost to demolish the old hotel, built in 1865.

A bar that once operated out of the hotel was closed when the state didn't renew the liquor license. The development corporation bought it in 1995 for $140,000.

The building was put on the market, but nobody showed an interest in buying it.

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