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whitemice

Downtown Needs(?) a Pharmacy

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12 hours ago, 54equalsunity said:

there is the Meijer in Spectrum (as mentioned) and there is also the Wege Pharmacy in the office building at 300/310 Lafayette behind MHSM. There is a Walgreens on Michigan just east of College, but it isn't your typical retail establishment and services mostly specialty medications (read: expensive). My dream would be to see/work in an urban Walgreens/CVS a la Chicago, but alas, it needs the foot traffic

And there is a full Walgreens at Michigan & Fuller;  that is 3.5 pharmacies on the corridor.    The RAPD#19 and RAPID#13 run past the Michigan & Fuller Walgreens.
It seems to me the pharmacy need is well satisfied; as a pharmacy user in that area I don't see a problem
.

20 hours ago, GRain said:

The movie theater is nicely done!  We will be frequent customers!

Ditto.  This is a huge addition of variety to the district.

Edited by whitemice
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3 hours ago, whitemice said:

And there is a full Walgreens at Michigan & Fuller;  that is 3.5 pharmacies on the corridor.    The RAPD#19 and RAPID#13 run past the Michigan & Fuller Walgreens.
It seems to me the pharmacy need is well satisfied; as a pharmacy user in that area I don't see a problem
.

Ditto.  This is a huge addition of variety to the district.

On a map, these places are all widely separated and are not places that people downtown are going to visit during their lunch hour or places visitors at hotels, students,  or people making a day DT are going to remotely make detours into. Bus routes to further ones that you have to pay to use and wade through traffic to get to those locations are irrelevant to the bigger point: that this pharmacy (truthfully a gen-merch store with a pharmacy component, which is where most people go to these filled) is much needed as close to the central part of DT as possible.

Just having a place in proximity of DT that fulfills the bare minimum of something would have led to the Bridge Street Market not existing (Just go to Duthler's Family Foods), or even maybe Studio Park (just take a bus to Alpine).

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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3 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

On a map, these places are all widely separated and are not places that people downtown are going to visit during their lunch hour or places visitors at hotels, students,  or people making a day DT are going to remotely make detours into. Bus routes to further ones that you have to pay to use and wade through traffic to get to those locations are irrelevant to the bigger point: that this pharmacy (truthfully a gen-merch store with a pharmacy component, which is where most people go to these filled) is much needed as close to the central part of DT as possible.

Just having a place in proximity of DT that fulfills the bare minimum of something would have led to the Bridge Street Market not existing (Just go to Duthler's Family Foods), or even maybe Studio Park (just take a bus to Alpine).

Exactly. Not a pharmacy to get prescriptions filled necessarily, but a full service pharmacy convenience store (of good quality).  When we go on trips, one of the first places we go after checking into our hotel or condo is to a pharmacy nearby, to get food, beer/wine, toiletries or OTC medicines that were forgotten, and other quick necessity items. 

There is nothing like that downtown right now. 

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That's completely fair. Something near to the bulk of the hotels, with hotel visitors being the primary target audience. Perhaps if the 400-room hotel gets built, that'll provide the impetus for one to open nearby.

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When we stay downtown in a big city, I feel like I'm constantly in a CVS, Walgreens or Duane Reade.  It would be hard to visit GR and have to get basics from hotel gift shops.  When we were in San Diego at an AirBNB we would practically grocery shop at CVS a block away.  I hope we get something soon...

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Sounds like  you are looking for a C-store, add some beer and spirits and you won't need any pain  prescriptions filled LOL (almost suggested a liquor store:rolleyes:)

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On 10/4/2019 at 6:39 PM, Prankster said:

Back in the early 2000’s when it was talked about “what does a successful downtown need”, the 4 things that were held up as a sign of a success was a movie theater, grocery store, bookstore, and pharmacy. 

We now have the movie theater and grocery store, and a bookstore is now an antiquated business model.  That just leaves a pharmacy for prescriptions and quick get items. I wonder if that is still being pursued?

True, although in the early 2000s, the corner of Bridge and Stocking was definitely not  considered downtown. And the movie theater location was a ramp to 131 and not really considered a potential development site. 

Kind of amazing how things change. 

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I can speak as someone who has worked in hotels that is one of the biggest asks; a “Walgreens” or some other brand name Pharmacy  and not just for the pharmacy but the connivence store. Also Many out of town visitors want A brand name one that they are familiar with because they know it will have a good selection and pricing and bonus if it’s 24/7. I love to see a good mix of local and national retail but That’s why a Walgreens would thrive downtown. 

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There's probably just not enough large ground floor retail that has been sitting vacant since it was built......

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7 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

There's probably just not enough large ground floor retail that has been sitting vacant since it was built......

This is also an issue. The best spots for one are all already taken by bars and restaurants.

If only the Ellis lot at the corner of Lyon & Monroe were developed with a multi-story Walgreens or CVS involved.

Or actually, what about the old Schuler's spot? Did anything ever move into that space?

Edited by tSlater
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7 hours ago, tSlater said:

This is also an issue. The best spots for one are all already taken by bars and restaurants.

If only the Ellis lot at the corner of Lyon & Monroe were developed with a multi-story Walgreens or CVS involved.

Or actually, what about the old Schuler's spot? Did anything ever move into that space?

Yeah, the old Schuler spot is office space. I think the Waters Building would be a great location for a Walgreens or CVS. It's centrally located for office workers (I would fill my prescriptions at a downtown pharmacy. I always end up at a pharmacy by my house too early, or too late). It's also close to a lot of the hotels. 

Joe

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How about the new building at 20 E Fulton?  It’s been empty since it was built, so the space should be pretty much white boxed for any tenant that would move in there. 

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1 hour ago, Prankster said:

How about the new building at 20 E Fulton?  It’s been empty since it was built, so the space should be pretty much white boxed for any tenant that would move in there. 

Who would be the customer base for a convenience store (what many of us really mean when we say "pharmacy") at that location? It's too far away from almost all of the hotels to get that business.

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3 hours ago, organsnyder said:

Who would be the customer base for a convenience store (what many of us really mean when we say "pharmacy") at that location? It's too far away from almost all of the hotels to get that business.

An 8 minute walk from Amway Grand and 6 minute walk from AC hotel.  Not bad, not great.  But its not all about the hotels.  I've thought the 20 E Fulton would be a good spot, especially if the parking ramp attached was open to customers.  Great visibility/frontage.   I also like ctpgr34's idea at base of 5/3 building.   CWD has plans to reconfigure that area.   BTW., is this the best place to discuss  a pharmacy?

Edited by mpchicago

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I'm not sure Walgreen's or CVS would consider building a location downtown based on hotel traffic alone.   Even with the influx of rooms, and record occupancy  I don't know that it would be enough traffic to justify.  I do think there are more than enough residents in a half mile radius to justify it.  Especially with so many students on the hill and near Westside. My guess is that it would still need a select number of dedicated parking spots to be truly feasible.   20 E. Fulton has a parking ramp, but I've got no clue on if Brookstone planned any extra spaces to accommodate for the commercial areas at the base.  That would be a pretty decent location for one.  The biggest concern would probably be the transient population so close there.  Honestly that retail space at the base of plaza towers with the never ending revolving door of restaurants would probably be perfect. 

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13 hours ago, MJLO said:

I'm not sure Walgreen's or CVS would consider building a location downtown based on hotel traffic alone. 

Alone, no, but I'm sure it would help and would likely dictate location. A location easily seen by tourists in the area will likely do far better than a location easily seen only by residents.

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I'm going to ask around about why there isn't signage for the Meijer Pharmacy outside of Butterworth.  They stay pretty busy with discharge medication fills and staff fills (i pick mine up there).

There are also 3-ish spots out front designated as pharmacy take-out parking only...so in and out to the pharmacy should be quick in theory.  Sorry, no C-store onsite and no beer. :-)

Edited by grandrollerz

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1 hour ago, RegalTDP said:

The ground floor of 20 Fulton E looks like it was built for a CVS or Walgreens.  Downtown GR needs 2 of these, really.  One for both ends of Monroe Center.

Once we get one, the other will open across the street.

I was being a little sarcastic about their not being large enough ground floor retail.  20 Fulton, 240 Ionia, 234 Market, Fulton Place (GVSU students alone would keep it open)  None of those are central "hotel district" DT, but a nice walk.  The ground floor of Plaza Towers would have been great. 

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I'm going to ask around about why there isn't signage for the Meijer Pharmacy outside of Butterworth.  They stay pretty busy with discharge medication fills and staff fills (i pick mine up there).
There are also 3-ish spots out front designated as pharmacy take-out parking only...so in and out to the pharmacy should be quick in theory.  Sorry, no C-store onsite and no beer. :-)
I wonder if the parking spaces were part of a business plan for it to service more outside patients, but the volume from discharge meds and staff fills proved to be enough for the pharmacy. I'm curious to hear about the signage, at any rate.

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So this thread made me curious and I started looking into similar sized cities.  For whatever reason I was expecting to validate my suspicion that GR's peer cities were lacking similar amenities, but I came out about 50/50.  It does make me wonder why a convenience/drug store hasn't popped up downtown.  Though I suspect it's similar to why most brands in general arrive here 5 years late.  Someone sitting in an office of a major metro who's never heard of Grand Rapids, and writes it off as being Grand Forks.  Though perhaps the required foot traffic or occupied rooms/resident base hasn't reached the required threshold for their formulas to work yet.  If that's the case it's because they are using data from 2013. 

In terms of retail spaces, the average standalone CVS/Walgreens is about 12,000 square ft.  An urban format location is anywhere from 4,000-8,000sf.  A lot of the retail spaces thrown around here are bigger than that.  If you actually look at streetview's for some of these locations they tend to be in retail clusters/cute districts that look more like Monroe Center.   That would make me think somewhere like the base of the Morton would be about perfect for it.  My next thought would be that retail space at the base of the building at Ionia and Weston.  Though I do wonder if the heavy homeless population is a deterrent.  There is an open space at 50 Ottawa with a higher profile that might be perfect.  Or perhaps Davenport is vacating the building at Louis and Ottawa because CVS is planning on moving in!

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15 hours ago, MJLO said:

So this thread made me curious and I started looking into similar sized cities.  For whatever reason I was expecting to validate my suspicion that GR's peer cities were lacking similar amenities, but I came out about 50/50.  It does make me wonder why a convenience/drug store hasn't popped up downtown.  Though I suspect it's similar to why most brands in general arrive here 5 years late.  Someone sitting in an office of a major metro who's never heard of Grand Rapids, and writes it off as being Grand Forks.  Though perhaps the required foot traffic or occupied rooms/resident base hasn't reached the required threshold for their formulas to work yet.  If that's the case it's because they are using data from 2013. 

In terms of retail spaces, the average standalone CVS/Walgreens is about 12,000 square ft.  An urban format location is anywhere from 4,000-8,000sf.  A lot of the retail spaces thrown around here are bigger than that.  If you actually look at streetview's for some of these locations they tend to be in retail clusters/cute districts that look more like Monroe Center.   That would make me think somewhere like the base of the Morton would be about perfect for it.  My next thought would be that retail space at the base of the building at Ionia and Weston.  Though I do wonder if the heavy homeless population is a deterrent.  There is an open space at 50 Ottawa with a higher profile that might be perfect.  Or perhaps Davenport is vacating the building at Louis and Ottawa because CVS is planning on moving in!

I was thinking the base of the Morton as well. It's multi-level and could give them a two-story store. You wouldn't really need shopping cart access to the lower level, just an elevator.  You'd be able to see it from the Hinman - Residence Inn. In fact, it's a very quick walk from virtually every hotel downtown. 

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