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Proposed Lynbrook Walgreens Shut Down by Village Board

The pharmacy chain was in talks with the Village to open a location on Hempstead Avenue.

Credit: Chris Boyle
Credit: Chris Boyle
Updated Wednesday at 4:50 p.m.

The Village board has denied Walgreens the application to build the store.

"It was just the traffic and the school - it was the wrong place for the store," said Lynbrook Mayor William Hendrick. 

Original Story

By Chris Boyle. 


Lynbrook Village Hall was packed with local residents for a public hearing on Tuesday, and they all appeared to agree on one thing: they don’t want a Walgreens in their town. 

The pharmacy chain, which is currently negotiating with the village in order to potentially build and open a location by purchasing and demolishing pre-existing structures at 230-234 Hempstead Ave. -- including a gym and a florist -- is facing heavy opposition from Lynbrook residents who claim that, among other issues, adding a Walgreens to the area will create numerous traffic, safety and quality of life issues. 

Lynbrook Mayor William J. Hendrick stated that the hearing was a way for the village to hear the concerns of the public and for residents to be able to get their many questions answered by the developers of the property, who had started the process of application submissions with the village in December of 2012.

 “We have not approved or granted anything yet ... this is not a done deal,” Hendrick said. “This is still early in the process. We welcome your involvement here tonight.” 

Among potential issues caused by the addition of a Walgreens in the area cited by local residents are changes in the traffic pattern around the nearby Davison Avenue Elementary School; noisy and disruptive tractor trailer deliveries; the pharmacy’s planned sale of both syringes and alcohol; a lack of adequate parking spaces, as required by law; the potential closing of part of Central Avenue; and the elimination of existing businesses already at the planned location.

However, in a presentation held by Alfred Callegari, the developer of the property, several experts testified before the boards, debunking some of the claims made by residents in an attempt to assuage their concerns. 

Callegari’s zoning attorney, Andrew Guardino, said that, in addition to departing from the traditional “blocky” Walgreens design in favor of a more pleasing colonial style in keeping with surrounding businesses, the proposed pharmacy’s scale would make it among the smaller in the chain. 

“People are saying that the proposed Walgreens will be one of the largest on Long Island, but that is simply not true,” he said. “The typical Walgreens is store is 14,500 square feet in size, but our proposed location would only be 10,615 square feet -- 30 percent smaller than the national average.” 

He went on to say that the building plan calls for 44 parking spots, which provides 31 more spaces than the gym currently situated at the location, which would eliminate ongoing parking issues in the area involving customers parking on residential streets. 

A representative of Walgreens also stated that the proposed Lynbrook location would not be open 24 hours. Instead, the likely hours of operation would be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

“We are proposing purchasing Central Avenue, which is currently a one-way street, converting it into a two-way street that services the two homes on it, and incorporating the remainder into our building plan,” he said. “If the village does not grant this, then we will apply for a special permit for off-site parking, where people will park on one side of Central and then walk over to Walgreens.” 

Harry Baker, a traffic consultant hired by Callegari to do a study of Hempstead Avenue and the potential impact that the addition of a Walgreens could have on the area, stated that the area would not be negatively affected. However, Baker stated that his report was not yet complete, and that he would turn it into the Village Board as soon as it is.

After the presentation, audience members were allowed to engage in a Q&A session with the developers.

One local citizen questioned the possible negative quality of life issues the Walgreens could bring with its coming, and presented a petition signed by 1,500 Lynbrook residents to Mayor Hendrick, objecting to the proposed pharmacy.

Another resident simply questioned the need for yet another pharmacy in the area, citing the two CVS and one Rite Aid in the Village, and a Walgreens on Franklin Avenue in nearby Franklin Square as being more than enough. 

Anne July 03, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Cannot believe this is even being considered with an elementary school so close to this property.
Pat July 03, 2013 at 03:49 PM
If its such a desirable addition to the area why don't they build one near Callegeri's house? Or better yet near some of the elected trustees/mayor of Lynbrook. With all the empty stores in the downtown area, you have to wonder...........................
Donna Ferrara July 03, 2013 at 11:13 PM
It is apparent that many Lynbrook residents are against the development offer from Walgreens. I applaud Mayor Hendrick for not approving the closure of Central Avenue for Walgreen's project. With this disapproval and the reluctance demonstrated by Lynbrook residents to accept Walgreens into their community will be enough to discourage Walgreens desire to continue with their application.
Brenda Gio July 04, 2013 at 09:45 AM
I absolutely agree with the decision not to allow this on the basis of traffic and congestion; however, what does the school have to do with it? The school itself has already disrupted traffic in the area. Sometimes, although this isn't one of them, the world needs to continue to turn regardless of whether there's a school nearby.
Echo Deep July 04, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Knock down the Capri and build it there.
Gilmane July 04, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Brenda, 7 school buses load and unload students twice a day at the rear exit of the proposed Wallgreens. There is simply no enough room to have Buses and cars on Grace Ave simultaneously. See pictures at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4910900605647&set=oa.478162462260793&type=1&permPage=1
Gilmane July 04, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Link in previous comment does not work. If you want to see the pictures they are on Facebook, I Love Malverne and Care About Our Schools!
S.M. July 04, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Knock down the Capri and put it there.
P July 05, 2013 at 08:31 AM
This may have been the right decision because of the planned location but Lynbrook's town board needs to create a plan of what desirable businesses that they can.want attract. I am sick of seeing so many Nail Salons, Cell Phone, and Dollar stores in our town. And yes what about Capri Motor Inn - I imagine that location requires a lot of policing which cost the taxpayers!
Ivan Ivanovich July 06, 2013 at 08:46 AM
Who's kidding who here, as soon as the right palms are greased, the construction will begin, that's the way it's always been in corruptbrook
whalepoop July 08, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Isn't sixth ave electonics still vacant?
whalepoop July 08, 2013 at 06:28 PM
electronics
Echo Deep July 08, 2013 at 07:45 PM
6th Ave. Electronics for the store, the Capri leveled for the parking lot.
Anne July 08, 2013 at 08:50 PM
This would be a better location for Walgreens..
Carol July 09, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Or a nice supermarket in the Sixth Avenue location!!! Trader Joe's?
S.M. July 09, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Trader joes...perfect!
ImPaul July 16, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Thank goodness that Village Residents spoke up and encouraged the Bd of Trustees to squash this plan. It was a terrible idea on so many levels. It's good to see that the Bd of Trustees & Mayor continue to respond positively to residents concerns over Corporate Greed. Another example of the Village focussing on residential interests is how the Bd of Trustees has supported the residents of Merton and Ocean Avenues, and nearby streets in blocking the Owners of the Holiday Inn Express - who also own the RVC Inn - from building a parking lot on residential properties. That proposal was halted last fall - now the hotel owners have come before the Bd of Trustees seeking a demolition permit - despite not meeting the requirements for how they will maintain the properties - as it is such a large swath of land. Help your neighbors defeat the terrible plans to destroy the residential nature of the area. Go to our page on facebook - "Stop Holiday Inn Lynbrook" https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Holiday-Inn-of-Lynbrook/353598514723987 Once again - congratulations to the residents of the Northern part of town for getting together to stop this unnecessary planned encroachment by Walgreens Thanks.
Watching Walgreens August 02, 2013 at 11:05 AM
With Walgreens new contract with AmerisourceBergen, the stores will be getting daily deliveries of drugs which will be a change from the weekly or biweekly drug warehouse order unless drugs are specifically ordered for the next day which costs more. I think it starts in September. Don't know about the rest of the store and the semi that delivers other stock. There is talk of having daily deliveries there too. Pharmacies can choose to sell a small pack of syringes or a whole box to anyone who asks. Depends on state law and the pharmacy manager. The drive thru lane(s) is a nightmare. Walgreens is all about wellness unless it gets in the way of making a dollar.
Watching Walgreens August 02, 2013 at 11:07 AM
If Walgreens could sell alcohol and cigarettes in all of their stores, they would do it. Then, you have everyone asking you if you want to buy a candy bar to meet their suggestive sell sales goals and there is always a suggestive sell item.
Watching Walgreens August 02, 2013 at 11:09 AM
You also have Walgreens charging customers to flavor a medication, usually an antibiotic for a child, which many times is already flavored. Bubble gum flavoring used to be the best selling flavor even if the medication was already flavored bubble gum!
Watching Walgreens August 02, 2013 at 11:12 AM
If they say they are creating a certain number of jobs with a new store, ask if they are full-time or part-time. If part-time, how many hours will these people get. You can have a part-time person work one shift a week if you want. Walgreens is trying to decrease the percentage of full-time employees. This is true for many business but it would help to be clear.
Watching Walgreens August 02, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Syringes can be sold by the packet or the box to anyone who asks. It depends on state law and the pharmacy manager.
Watching Walgreens August 02, 2013 at 11:20 AM
There is no timer on the cars in the drive thru lanes like there is at McDonalds. Sometimes, customers will refuse to leave the drive thru lane while they call their insurance company, doctor or wait for their prescription.
Watching Walgreens August 02, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Before you think Walgreens is giving back to the local community out of goodwill, participation in community events is mandatory. It is part of your performance appraisal.

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