UPDATE: Walgreens has withdrawn its zoning appeal at the Common Pleas Court seeking to uphold variances for the proposed store and drive-thru facility at the corner of Darby and Eagle Roads. Walgreens has terminated their agreement with the property owner.
I do not have any additional information as to the future of the Darby and Eagle Roads site.
via:Commissioner Jane Hall
If you grew up in Havertown you remember may remember going in for penny candy as a little kid. It’s a place where your mother went to pick up cough medicine or Pepto Bismol when you were sick. And chances are the pharmacists knew your name and your kids names.
Katz Pharmacy, on the corner of Darby and Eagle Roads is that kind of place. The kind of Norman Rockwellian Main Street mom-and-pop businesses that are disappearing from our communities at an alarming rate. Katz Pharmacy may be the next victim.
“This business is tough enough. This could be another nail in the coffin” says Katz Pharmacy owner Mike Cionci.
He talks about what could sound the death knell for this iconic business that opened in 1953. Pharmacy giant Walgreen’s is soon hoping to break ground on a new store on the site of a current gas station on 2900 Darby Road, just feet away and across the street from Katz Pharmacy. That does not bode well for the future of Katz that’s been serving Havertown for decades.
Cionci bought the pharmacy from the original owner Milton Katz in 1986. Since then he’s developed long lasting relationships with many of his long time customers he considers family. But he’s worried those customers will be wooed away by lower prices, more selection and longer hours.
And it’s not just a new Walgreen’s. Cionci says with a CVS store 100 yards away and a Rite-Aide a half mile away he’s afraid he’ll get squeezed out of business. “It’s a big concern. Things are tough enough” said Cionci. He put a sign up in his window warning his customers of what’s to come.
Thursday night the Haverford Township Zoning Board considered the re-zoning of the current property to include a drive-thru. The zoning request came from the property owner Blackwater Falls. If approved, it’s expected that Walgreen’s will get the green light to proceed with the project. The board also heard from concerned residents about the high volume of traffic, parking and pedestrian safety issues at an intersection that already has issues. A final vote is expected in a couple weeks.
Cionci says if Walgreen’s comes to the neighborhood he’ll keep doing what made his business a success. Making customer number one. Things like free delivery. (Up to 60 a day), hiring employees from the neighborhood and giving customers an old fashioned friendly smile. “That’s just the way we do business. You won’t get that at Walgreens.