Planners to discuss Walgreens, Obici sitePublished 9:09pm Thursday, April 4, 2013
The Suffolk Planning Commission will hear a proposal April 16 to rezone the former Obici Hospital site on North Main Street in preparation for development.
The city’s Economic Development Commission has owned the property for a month and a half, since it acquired the 25-acre parcel from the city. It has been vacant for about 10 years.
The old hospital was razed in 2003 after it moved its operations to the current site on Godwin Boulevard. Several attempts to sell and develop the property have fallen through, including one by Robinson Development, which bought it in 2006. After failing to get a theater operator to anchor the mixed-use site, the group sold the site back to the city in 2008.
The site currently is zoned as general commercial with a mixed-use overlay. The EDA’s request is for the mixed-use overlay to be removed, which the EDA believes will make it easier to market the site to potential developers.
Another item on the Planning Commission’s agenda for this month indicates a drugstore chain is moving ahead with plans to build near the corner of North Main Street and Constance Road, even after the city denied its hopes to have an exit on North Main Street.
Walgreens has applied for an exception request to construct its driveway that close to the water, meaning it no longer feels the lack of an exit on Main Street would be a deal-killer.
Customers would still be able to enter the lot on Main Street, near the McDonald’s, and could enter and exit on West Constance Road.
City Council approved the Walgreens request in December, but it was not clear until now whether the drugstore company would move ahead with plans.