New Longs Drugs proposed
Senior Staff Writer
A new Longs Drugs store at the site of the old Hills Flat Lumber building on Idaho-Maryland Road will be pitched at a city of Grass Valley meeting Tuesday.
It represents the fourth proposed or existing drugstore chain within the Grass Valley area, including an existing Longs, a Rite-Aid and a planned Walgreens. The other three drugstores are in Glenbrook Basin.
The landowner of the proposed project, Jeff Pardini of Pardini General Partnership, praised the planning, which included a “Victorian theme.” But a city staff report raised some concerns about traffic, setbacks and landscaping.
Tuesday’s meeting of the city’s Development Review Committee begins a lengthy review and approval process for the planned project. Another wildcard is last week’s buyout of Longs by CVS Caremark for $2.7 billion.
“We heard it would be business as usual, but things could change at any time,” Pardini said. “We’re still a long way away from anything final.”
The application calls for an almost 14,000-square-foot Longs store at the corner of Idaho-Maryland Road and West Main Street. The plan includes a drive-through window and a 2,200-square-foot delivery dock located at 115 Idaho-Maryland Drive.
It also proposes 57 parking spaces, according to a city staff report. The height of the proposed building is 28 to 32 feet, with a 35-foot tower structure located on the south side of the structure.
The project also includes a public art plaza and gateway along the Idaho-Maryland frontage. Landscaping also is planned.
“It’s a good idea to lease land if it’s vacant,” said Pardini, also general manager of Hills Flat Lumber. “These guys are willing to do a nice design, and they can afford it.
“It will have a Victorian theme, and the city wants something to make the gateway to the city impressive.”
He said the proposed drugstore has no impact on Hills Flat Lumber, a longtime local business.
As to whether a need exists for a fourth drugstore, Pardini said: “These guys have done their homework.”
The large number of drugstores in such a small region reflects the demographics of the area’s older population, real estate agents have said.
A roundabout is under construction to ease congestion at the intersection where the Longs Drugs store is proposed. The $1.4 million roundabout, with trees and mining memorabilia in the middle, is expected to be completed in October.
The Longs drugstore project has been designed to be “consistent” with the roundabout improvements, according to the city.
The proposed use is consistent with the city’s general plan designation of the site as commercial, the report added.
“It appears the project may have the potential of generating significant traffic impacts,” the city said, adding that a traffic study is being prepared.
The report added, “staff believes the additional building setback with a larger landscape area and quality building design is more important than the placement of the building at the property line.”
The existing Longs in Glenbrook Basin and the one on Combie Road are expected to be rebranded as CVS pharmacies next year, a CVS spokesman said.
The committee meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Hullender Community Room in the basement of City Hall.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4237.
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