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Garris

RUMOR: United Way site, Wayland Square

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I have a source in Wayland Square who has been fairly reliable about issues there who told me that he heard fourth-hand that CVS might be interested in the Wayland Square United Way building at the corner of Wayland and Waterman after they vacate. CVS apparently is unhappy with their limited surface parking behind their S. Angell location and would like to move to the United Way site since that property already has copious off street parking.

I wasn't going to post this yet, but someone else just told me he has seen several surveyers at the United Way property doing measurements and assessments who would not say who they represented, so at the very least someone is looking at this area.

I'd really hate to see a generic CVS in that site. That's literally the center of the Square and would be the perfect place for building to set the stage for a Wayland Square of the future, something mixed use with 3-4 floors with multiple retail fronts and apartments/condos above. A cookie cutter suburban style CVS would be a disaster for the square there...

- Garris

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Remind me to put "obsession with parking" on my things I don't like about Providence tonight. :rolleyes:

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Remind me to put "obsession with parking" on my things I don't like about Providence tonight. :rolleyes:

i'd say that more about CVS than providence in general... the CVS and walgreens at admiral and douglas ruin the streetscape there. it could be so much more and at least look better if they didn't have their lots. same goes for the brooks and 7-11 at branch and charles.

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CVS always has way too much parking. The only time their lots are full are on one day per year: Christmas Eve. I'm sorry but your parking lot shouldn't be larger than your actual store... (i.e. CVS @ Newport/Armistice in Pawtucket).

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This is a key block.

waylandunitedway.jpg

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This is a key block.

waylandunitedway.jpg

funny how it's an important block, yet the block is about half surface parking (if not more than half).

why not build a 3 or 4 floor parking garage around there and get rid of all that surface parking?

what i think is funny about some CVS locations is that they have more surface parking than the world's largest CVS in wakefield.

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This is a key block.

Cotuit, you might want to add in a little square around there current location, which is the bottom left corner of that picture. I have no decent photo editting crap anymore.

From a marketing perspective, I can certainly see why CVS would want the other location. They will get more car traffic from people going home from work in the evening across the Red Bridge. I am sure they would much rather have that than what they have now which is the foot traffic of the square. People commuting along Angell aren't necessarily going to stop. And, they are probably annoyed that Brooks gets to be in the ESM parking lot and get business also. Another part of the problem for them is that most of the retail in Wayland Square closes at 5.

I would hate to see this happen as I agree with Garris, but it makes so much $$$ sense that it will take a rather large pushback from the planning board and WSNA to stop it, IMO.

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funny how it's an important block, yet the block is about half surface parking (if not more than half).

The overhead map is somewhat deceptive. The reason the block is "key" is more the Wayland Ave aspect running North-South (or Left-Right in the orientation of the overhead). That's where all of the urban style, mostly 2 floor, street-fronted retail buildings are located, and this United Way block is right in the middle of all of them.

A 1 story, non-windowed CVS would be an enormous step backward for the Square here.

Most parking you're seeing is along Waterman, most of it for the ugly Bliss Place and for Whole Foods. Some of it on the left is actually formal parking for the Square itself (free if validated). The parking for Whole Foods isn't actually that bad, and is easily pedestrian cross-able. The Bliss Parking admittedly is more problematic to the streetscape. From a retail perspective, however, this is a "side" street and not the pedestrian focus for the Square.

I certainly think that the United Way area would be great for a CVS, and I'm sure financially they'd do much better there. Also, the existing United Way surface parking, being somewhat below grade, is actually quite unobtrusive already. I just believe that whatever is built there should:

1 - Front the sidewalk in urban fashion in the style of most of the rest of the Square's retail, and

2 - It should be so much more than just a CVS. I'd love to see something similar to a 333 Atwells there, something 3 floors and multiuse...

In fact, 333 Atwells transported to that location would be perfect.

- Garris

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I really hope CVS doesn't get that site. The United Way bldg is actually quite nice architecturally. A CVS would really cheapen that intersection.

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maybe CVS will start to learn that to exist in an urban environment they can't make all their stores look exactly the same...

have you been to downtown boston lately? there are about 101 urban CVS and Walgreens locations

they exist quite nicely in this setting, its the suburban areas trying to become more urban or return to their urban roots where the problem, as they see it, exists

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have you been to downtown boston lately? there are about 101 urban CVS and Walgreens locations

they exist quite nicely in this setting, its the suburban areas trying to become more urban or return to their urban roots where the problem, as they see it, exists

i try to avoid boston at all costs... the CVS downtown here fits in nicely... i don't know why they wouldn't do that in other areas (like the one on admiral and douglas).

i have to say, the brooks at branch and charles did a pretty good job at having a lot and keeping their doors right next to the sidewalk. i haven't seen many neighborhood CVS's that do this though.

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I can imagine CVS trying to get a design to fly at that location by creating a pseudo-historic building with plastic clapboards and shutters, maybe even some phony dormers and a fake cupola, like Dunkin Donuts did on Gano Street. Hopefully the city and the other powers that be will see a bogus attempt at mitigation for what it is and block it.

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I can imagine CVS trying to get a design to fly at that location by creating a pseudo-historic building with plastic clapboards and shutters, maybe even some phony dormers and a fake cupola, like Dunkin Donuts did on Gano Street.

You just described every CVS on Cape Cod. The people on the Cape fell for it, you can surround it with surface parking and set it back from the street, as long as there's a peaked roof, grey shingles, and white trim. :rolleyes:

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have you been to downtown boston lately? there are about 101 urban CVS and Walgreens locations

they exist quite nicely in this setting...

Of course I've seen those, and the urban Duane Reeds or Rite Aids in NYC. Those are pharmacies existing in larger, multiuse structures.

The rumor is that CVS wants that site just for more surface parking potential. I fear this:

The people on the Cape fell for it... as long as there's a peaked roof, grey shingles, and white trim. :rolleyes:

Exactly. If CVS wants to build a sidewalk fronting three story, multiuse building with itself, possibly another business, and apartments on top with off street parking behind the building, I'll be the first there to cheer them on!

- Garris

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I can imagine CVS trying to get a design to fly at that location by creating a pseudo-historic building with plastic clapboards and shutters, maybe even some phony dormers and a fake cupola, like Dunkin Donuts did on Gano Street. Hopefully the city and the other powers that be will see a bogus attempt at mitigation for what it is and block it.

i like what dunkin donuts did on their smith st location by la salle. it fits in really nicely with the streetscape and didn't make it all dunkified.

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I'm enjoying the new Planning Department site and reading some stuff about Capital Center. This just struck me:

36.

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i honestly don't know why the pharmacy is in teh back of the store to begin with. i hate having to go all the way to teh back to pick up my drugs. i think they should be designed with the pharmacy on one side of the store and line the back with the grocery section. of course i'm sure there was some big study to determine how the store was set up...

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Now I'm really really sad - the United Way building is one of my favorites in the city. Nice clean lines, good proportions, a very nice example of postwar modernism. Whatever hideous and cheap faux-lonial box they'll build in its place will never rise to its level.

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of course i'm sure there was some big study to determine how the store was set up...

My guess would be that if someone comes to a pharmacy just to fill a prescription, walking through the entire store to get to the counter creates a chance for you to see something, that you didn't realize you needed, and make an additional purchase you didn't plan to make.

faux-lonial

We really need to start cataloging these kinds of terms and write a dictionary or something. :lol:

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My guess would be that if someone comes to a pharmacy just to fill a prescription, walking through the entire store to get to the counter creates a chance for you to see something, that you didn't realize you needed, and make an additional purchase you didn't plan to make.

We really need to start cataloging these kinds of terms and write a dictionary or something. :lol:

In the very same way you'll always find milk at the back corner of the grocery store. It's to get you to walk by as much as possible.

As much as everyone always wants commercial on the ground floor and residential above it's not necessary everywhere and not necessary there. The reality is, as long as its a decent design of which CVS is quite capable of, the people who live in that neighborhood will be thrilled with a nice newer expanded CVS. And that is who it matters to most, those that live there.

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The reality is, as long as its a decent design of which CVS is quite capable of, the people who live in that neighborhood will be thrilled with a nice newer expanded CVS. And that is who it matters to most, those that live there.

You seem to have a lot of faith in CVS. As the National Trust for Historic Preservation has pointed out, they have have been ruining urban streetscapes thoughout America for years.

Yes, I know there are some nice CVS's in NY, DC, Boston, but when it comes to PVD chain pharmacies seem to strongly prefer the suburban model outfitted with plastic shutters, Dryvit mouldings etc. in order to win approval from people who are unsophisticated when it comes to architecture.

Lately, this has gone along with the trend, a half-hearted nod to new urbanism and evident with the Brooks on Charles St., to build to the street on one corner and then have a massive parking lot on the other.

I find it hard to believe that the neighbors will be thrilled to have yet another chain drugstore. There's already a CVS with pharmacy and a Brook's a few blocks away. If there is truth to this rumor, it's probably that CVS wants to get its hands on the United Way building not only to have a larger store but to have more surface parking.

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Lately, this has gone along with the trend, a half-hearted nod to new urbanism and evident with the Brooks on Charles St., to build to the street on one corner and then have a massive parking lot on the other.

I find it hard to believe that the neighbors will be thrilled to have yet another chain drugstore. There's already a CVS with pharmacy and a Brook's a few blocks away. If there is truth to this rumor, it's probably that CVS wants to get its hands on the United Way building not only to have a larger store but to have more surface parking.

i do sort of like the look of the brooks on charles and the parking lot there isn't huge, but it could be smaller. i do like that they put the fence around it to give a more closed off feel on the sidewalk (it feels safer than the sidewalk around the CVS on admiral that the parking lot just flows to... i feel like people can drive right off it).

what's with providence (or maybe RI) and having 2 or 3 major chain drugstores right on the same block all across the street from one another? is it really necessary?

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