A conceptual rendering of the Walgreens site proposed on West Constance Road. Issues with an entrance on North Main Street, between the McDonald’s and Super 8 Motel, caused planners to delay a decision on the site Tuesday.

Archived Story

Walgreens decision tabled

Published 10:10pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Walgreens pharmacy could be coming to downtown Suffolk, but plans currently are on hold while the city’s traffic engineering department works with developers.

The Planning Commission on Tuesday tabled a rezoning request and street vacation request associated with the planned business on West Constance Road, just west of the McDonald’s restaurant near the city’s busiest intersection.

The commissioners were concerned about a proposed entrance on North Main Street, between the McDonald’s lot and the Super 8 Motel. Developers want it to be both an entrance and an exit, but city traffic engineers have only recommended it to be an entrance, Planning Director Scott Mills said. An exit from the site would be provided on West Constance Road.

“On any given day, that intersection is congested big time,” commissioner William Perry said. “Any additional traffic coming out of Walgreens is going to create a nightmare.”

Attorney Whitney Saunders said the business, if approved, would bring 20 to 30 jobs, some of them part time, to the city. It also would bring $5 million of improved value to the real estate and about $8 million in sales, Saunders said.

“We think we’re bringing significant positive attributes,” Saunders said.

In addition, if approved, the developers, CRES-EG Development LLC, would landscape the land behind the building that leads to the Nansemond River with plants designed to soak up runoff.

Some commissioners were ready to approve the request and let engineers work out the entrance issues later. Commissioner Donald Mills pointed out the same conditions are present at other nearby businesses.

But others wanted to delay a decision on the matter for further study by traffic engineers.

“I think in order to meet the needs of the developer, I’d like to see us make a recommendation to table this matter for 30 days,” commissioner Thomas Savage said.

“I think the matter does need further study,” commissioner William Goodman agreed.

The issue will be taken up again at the commission’s next meeting, set for Nov. 20.

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  • KNRMCO

    How many drug stores does Suffolk need? Are we in competition with the mattress, auto parts & cell phone stores? Build something NEEDED & not there….that is a dangerous spot for cars to be trying to go againist traffic.

    Suggest Removal

  • dollyb12

    Why would anybody want to set up shop at that location? Main Street is in very poor condition and that area goes under water and floods after heavy rains and the city is very aware of that. If built, I would never risk my life by entering the property. Constance Road is too narrow for another exit — upgrade the roads FIRST.

    Suggest Removal

  • TechGranny

    I don’t see a problem as that exit would be a right turn only. But I think a better site could be found than that intersection.

    Suggest Removal

  • thekytikat

    I’m all for putting a Walgreens there. Give Rite-Aid some competition & bring in the jobs. BUT! That intersection, and that spot between McDs & Super8… That needs to be ONLY and entrance. No way it’s a safe way to exit. That’s too close to the light at an always crowded intersection.

    Suggest Removal

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