Land Swap for Walgreens Approved

DEEP RIVER – After almost two years, First Selectman Richard Smith was relieved to hear that residents approved the September 14 referendum by a 605-181 margin.

The referendum will bring a 9,960 square foot Walgreens pharmacy with prescription drive-thru to town along with a municipal parking lot.

“I’m very happy because I think this is very important and good for the Town of Deep River,” Smith said.

Smith said a proposed alternate design has been accepted by Turnpike Properties making the pharmacy resemble the one in Southbury.

The alternate design is the major factor, Smith said, in helping members of the Citizens for Deep River Center more comfortable with having a pharmacy on Main Street.

The design will have a corner entry element similar to the elementary school and the entrance tower will be designed as an open pavilion without decorative windows or a roof peak.

There will be an open pedestrian plaza consisting of two brick paved walkways similar to the brick in front of the Deep River Shopping Center.

One walkway will lead pedestrians southbound to the Elms while the other going westbound to the parking lot.

Smith said Turnpike Properties plans to restore the Elms building and rent it out for professional offices or a bank.

The Walgreens pedestrian plaza will be free of plants in concrete holders and a southern pavilion will feature a community board similar to the one on South Main Street, Smith said.

As a formality, Smith said Turnpike Properties will bring the alternate design to the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting in October for approval.

Smith was unsure when site work would begin but explained Central Row will still exist.

The closing of Central Row during construction is possible, Smith said, but it probably would only be for a short period of time.
Walgreens will bring a pharmacy to an area where residents in Deep River and surrounding towns are forced to drive to Essex or Old Saybrook and wait in long lines to get their prescriptions filled.

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