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Drug Mart Proposal at Ganley Site Heads Back to the Drawing Board

The Lakewood Planning Commission rejects some of the drug stores requests.

It looks like the  on Detroit Avenue is headed back to the drawing board.

The Sun Post-Herald reported that the Lakewood Planning Commission denied a few of the drug store chain’s requests at its meeting on Thursday. 

The commission approved the lots consolidation at the site of the former Ganley Auto dealership, but denied other requests including a lot-split at 1425 Grace Avenue and a conditional use for an adjacent 11-unit apartment building to be used for accessory parking.

That means the apartment building won’t be demolished after all.

The issue of a conditional use of a drive-thru at the proposed drug store was tabled, the Sun Post-Herald reported.

“The planning commission did a good job talking through some very complicated issues,” Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, told Lakewood Patch. “We’ll see where it goes from here.”

— with its — has plans to move its eastern Lakewood location to the corner of Cohassett and Detroit avenues.

Plans call for a red brick structure, 92 parking spaces, a drive-thru, and green space that includes space for a bio-retention swale. 

The former auto dealership's showroom building would be demolished — along with an apartment building and vacant house at the rear of the property — to make way for a 24,000-square-foot Drug Mart, according to plans submitted to the city.

Those plans may need to be altered now, Siley said.

He said that — which now owns the Ganley site — is “going to evaluate their options.”

The company was scheduled to present plans at next week’s architectural board of review meeting. Those plans are on hold, while company officials decide what to do next. 

“They are pretty invested in the property,” Siley said. “They’re committed to finding a design for the property.” 

Neighbors have organized — and spoken out — against the development.

In a recent , nearby resident Mary Grodek said that most neighbors aren’t opposed to development — but rather the commercial “encroachment” into a residential neighborhood.

“Although many residents are concerned about Drug Mart’s impending location across the street from Garfield Middle School, the neighborhood is NOT anti-development,” she wrote. “The Ganley lot is zoned for and needs a commercial tenant. Drug Mart’s plan, however, is not progress.” 

Anthony Lima July 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Ian: You claim “no one can deny Lakewood needs more tax dollars today.” Moving a store from one Lakewood location to another does not result in greater tax income. I understand Lakewood is desperate for development but the only recent development here has been the demolition of a church to make room for a CVS (which moved from one Lakewood location to another) and the destruction of a movie theater to make room for a McDonald’s with a drive-thru. If Lakewood truly fancies itself a city with “vision”, fast-food restaurants with drive-thru service is not progressive development “vision”. Even Wal-Mart (the behemoth that has ruined many small businesses) has taken an approach to smaller facilities to fit their stores into urban areas. DrugMart can do the same. The city has spent a lot of time and money identifying the so-called areas along Detroit Avenue. The stretch from Bunts east to Alameda is technically identified as the “Garfield District”. It is NOT ‘downtown’ Lakewood – which is Bunts west to Arthur. The reason the city spent time and money to identify the areas along Detroit is to preserve the commercial AND residential character of some of these areas. I’m proud of myself and my neighbors for standing side by side to protect our streets. What is one small step for the residents of Cohassett and Grace avenues is one giant leap for residents of all Lakewood streets that want to protect the integrity of their neighborhoods. – Anthony Lima
Cathy Spicer July 08, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I think the Patch article is a little off-point. I don't think anyone is against development on that site. There were just a couple of things about the Drug Mart Development proposal that just didn't sit well with me. If I owned the adjacent property and was told that they wanted 13-20 ft of my yard, I would take great exception to that. The planning commission had some very difficult decisions to work thru & I don't envy them that task. None of us wants to see a rotting building at the end of the block, so my hope is that Drug Mart will revise their plan for the lot they purchased and can move forward. I think the CVS store at Arthur and Detroit is an example to consider - that store fits within the footprint of the lot that was purchased, and the store is an appropriate scale for the neighborhood. It's not a NIMBY objection that I had (along with many of my neighbors). It was the push to acquire residential property to convert into accessory parking, pushing the store beyond the commercially zoned lot. I bought my house in Lakewood and am in it for the long haul, so I have a vested interest in what happens in my back yard and attended last week's meeting (all 4-1/2 hours of it) with rapt attention. I listened carefully to Mr. Siley's comments, the Drug Mart representatives and the extensive public commentary and applaud the planning commission for carefully considering those decisions. I believe that Drug Mart can bring a revised proposal forward and hope that they will.
Colin McEwen July 08, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Good call, Cathy. Thanks for sharing.
Another Concerned Resident July 12, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I don't understand why some residents are opposed to a parking area where the apartment building sits. As long as consideration for the plan includes landscaping & fencing that pulls into the beautiful architecture of the surrounding homes, what is the issue??? Anyone that refers to that oversized mishmash of brick that stands there now as beautiful archtecture must be blind. That building is an eyesore and always has been. There isn't even any historical value there. It's just an ugly non-descript building. Maybe this is some peoples way of pretending that what goes on in the vacant Ganley building late at night isn't really happening. Out of sight, out of mind. That apartment building does make good blinders against the derelicts and drug dealing that goes on there in the dead of night just a few doors away. Wise up people, You haven't convinced me that an abandoned building is a better choice than a Drug Mart sitting across from a school either. We all know how kids like to explore taboo places & I would not want my child walking past the old Ganley building as it stands. You never know what kind of predator might be waiting for the right opportunity and I would not want to find out the hard way. Another concerned resident.
xv July 16, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Another concerned resident. Wow have you ever even been to the property? The architecture that is talked about is the apartment building and the historic homes.

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