A little pharmacy has popped up at the corner of West Delavan Avenue and Grant Street. It was a big mystery for a while, what this former station was going to become. Some people though coffee shop, and others were anticipating a restaurant. In the end, it turned out to be West Side Pharmacy, which a number of people on social media channels were happy to see. I agree that a small locally owned and operated pharmacy could be a good thing – I travel across town to support the Parker Pharmacy on Hertel Avenue. There’s something to be said for supporting the little guys, and there’s nothing like the personal customer service that comes with building a relationship with a hometown operator.
As much as I’m happy to see this new pharmacy open, I am disappointed that a sea of asphalt was laid around the entire premises. There are no tree plots, green features, permeable materials… nothing but asphalt and concrete. Actually, there are two tiny green strips on either side of the front door, but nothing to warrant applause. This would never happen on Elmwood, and I’m pretty sure that it would never happen on Hertel. So why is OK to happen on Grant Street? There was a real opportunity here to soften this corner, while retaining plenty of parking for customers. I don’t know why, in this day and age, The City and business/building owners don’t require/think about the aesthetic appearance and the environmental repercussions of creating uncomfortable heat islands and unwelcoming eyesores.
A nice and safe walkway would have been constructed from the corner leading up to the front door, with greenery on both sides. Instead, people on foot will have to compete with cars pulling in and out. There could have been room for everyone considering the amount of the space to work with. Instead, this corner was designed for cars, not foot traffic.
What could have been a win-win for the community turned out to be simply a win. It’s great having a new business on the street, and a relief to see the old station upgraded in this way. I just wish they would have taken the ball and run for a touchdown, instead of getting a yellow flag for chop blocking this corner.