Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Businesses on the Horizon

This update just in from the Crow Hill Community Association meeting--Walgreens, the Chicago pharmacy giant that bought Duane Reade earlier this year, is apparently considering becoming the ground floor tenant at Franklin and Eastern (the giant hole). The dormant construction site, which lost its funding/backers when owner Eli Mazon (of Mazon's Discount) was forced to scale his original eight-story, 61-unit building plan down to meet zoning requirements for the location, is also slated to get a mural painted on its construction fence, courtesy of the CHCA.

Meanwhile, over on Classon and St. Marks, the tiny urban park is gone as quickly as it arrived, as the management company at the old Jewish hospital makes way for a new coffee shop. Apparently Classon was feeling a little jealous, with only the Glass Shop to compete with the Franklin quadrumvirate (Pulp and Bean, Breukelen, Bristen's, and Lily & Fig).


  1. Is there any source other than the meeting for the Walgreens and zoning issues? I've been researching that lot and can't find anything about changes to the plans. There are other changes afoot as well, which I hope to write about more in the next few days.

  2. I'll believe this when I see it... frankly, I don't care what goes in there, I just want my sidewalk back!

  3. Great, cause what we need is another pharmacy, and another giant chain store coming to the 'hood. What with T-Mobile and Dunkin on the other side of Eastern two blocks away, this giant Walgreens marks the official blandification of our neighborhood.

  4. I am torn I agree with "J" that the chains are not the best, but I know that I go to Duane Reade or Walgreens nearby fairly often and wouldn't be as annoyed with it as with other things (cell phone stores, etc) that I wouldn't use regularly.

  5. I agree that Walgreens isn't as bad as some things that could move in, but I worry about the two locally owned pharmacies that are already right there on that block. There is Maiman's which is on the corner right across Eastern Parkway, and S & T, which is on the corner of Bedford and EP, by the Chase bank.

    These aren't the kind of mini department store that Walgreens owns, but rather just medicines and hygiene products. While their offerings could never compete with a Walgreens, what they offer to our community has value.

    Nick wrote about Maiman's back in December[1], and noted its great neon sign as a connector to the neighborhood's past. Think about it, that sign was up when the Dutch Boy sign was being used to sell paint and not burgers.

    While I have never bought more than the odd pack of band-aids or toothpaste from Maiman's, they have always been friendly and helpful - hell they're the kind of local business that gives away calendars in December.

    Because its on the same side of the Parkway as I am, I tend to go to S & T more often. Here you are welcomed by a friendly pharmacist who is willing to field questions both about your prescriptions and over the counter stuff. He's not steered me wrong yet. Furthermore, he speaks French Creole with folks, which is one of those nice Crown Heights touches. On top of all of that, he almost always has coffee and sugar cookies for his customers!

    Hopefully Walgreens won't have a Wal-Mart effect on this block's two local pharmacies. The neighborhood just wouldn't be the same without them. I just don't see Walgreens as being capable of being as good a neighbor as these places are.

    That hasn't even gotten to the effect of a mini department stores on bodegas, discount stores and beauty supply shops up and down the avenue.