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Walgreens sets sights on former Cressler's

March 20, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The former Cressler's market has stood empty along Lincoln Way East for several years, but developers have asked that the property be rezoned as the future site of a Walgreens pharmacy.

"It will be one heck of an improvement over that vagrant building that has been vacant" for much of the past decade, Chambersburg Borough Council President William McLaughlin said Monday night.

Jay Tillman of Newman-Tillman Properties, said his corporation has built more than 60 Walgreens stores since 1992. The company is asking the borough to rezone the 2.6-acre parcel in the 900 block of Lincoln Way East from distributed commercial neighborhood business and low-density residential to distributed Commercial Highway.

The council set Monday, May 14, for a public hearing on the rezoning request.

Tillman said the 14,820-square-foot store will cost about $5 million to build and will employ about 20 people.

He said his goal is to have the store open by the spring of 2008.

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If the necessary approvals are received from the borough, the developer will first have to demolish the old 28,000-square-foot Cressler's. The smaller store will have 81 parking spaces, but Tillman said there will be less asphalt and more green space on the property - actually made up of five parcels - than now at the site.

"We're used to being in residential neighborhoods," said Tillman, who explained that the company had been in contact with at least one family at an adjacent residence on Duncan Avenue to discuss screening the store from nearby homes.

"Thank you for speaking to the neighbors," Councilwoman Elaine Swartz said.

The council also voted to rezone another commercial property, Wayne Avenue Plaza, to allow Giant to be able to put in a fuel kiosk near its store. The zoning was changed from distributed commercial neighborhood to distributed commercial Highway.

A public hearing on the rezoning was held in February with some council members voicing concerns about notifying commercial and residential neighbors of the plan and that the gas pumps could be built too close to a residential area behind the shopping center.

Borough solicitor Thomas Finucane told the council that the owner of the center and Giant had reached an agreement that the pumps could not be behind the supermarket or within 200 feet of Orchard Drive.

Finucane said the zoning ordinance should also be amended to restrict fuel pumps from being within 200 feet of a residential zone. The council referred the proposed amendment to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The council also scheduled a public hearing on April 9 on a request to transfer a restaurant liquor license from Waynesboro, Pa., to 245 Walker Road. Borough Manager Eric Oyer said the business seeking the transfer was not specified in the letter requesting the hearing.

The proposed site of the restaurant is the Gabler Tract, a fast-developing commercial area in the borough's North End which has seen several major retailers, including Target, open recently.

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