CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A WALGREENS KIND

The newest rumors regarding the Drugstore that Ate St. Louis

In the wake of reports of Walgreens' plan to flatten the Parkmoor Restaurant and the South Side National Bank Tower ("Short Cuts," RFT, Oct. 6), calls have been coming in faster than UFO sightings. A sample: Walgreens wants to locate at the corner of Sarah Street and Lindell Avenue, tearing down the St. Louis Housing Authority Building; Walgreens had wanted to tear up the turf inside Fairgrounds Park, with the support of Ald. Freeman Bosley Sr. (D-3rd), but the city put a stop to that one. The Parkmoor, sadly, will close at the end of this month. Meanwhile, in the University City Loop, on Delmar just east of Kingsland, word has it that Smith Hardware and the Craft Alliance have been tendered hard-to-refuse offers from the Drugstore That Ate America. But City Manager Frank Ollendorffsays U. City government would have "mixed feelings" about a big Walgreens in the trendy Loop. "We'd love to see a pharmacy, some sort of food and drug sales available in the Loop," says Ollendorff. "On the other hand, we're not especially excited about large chain stores moving into the Loop; that's not the kind of neighborhood it is." A few years ago, Walgreens wanted to go where Paul's Books used to be but dropped the idea when the liquor license was denied. Ollendorff is certain that a Walgreens on the vacant U. City lot in the shadow of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel would be a bad idea. City moguls want a high-rise office or residential building, not a cheap place to buy Chia Pets.

 
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