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Walgreen's planning new store

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BLOOMINGTON - Walgreen's Drug Stores will move its Main Street location a few blocks north in Bloomington, but it may be a few years before the new store opens.

Houses in the 1400 block of Main were boarded up this week because those residences, along with the rest of the block, are slated for demolition to make way for the new store.

"Plans are still a little far off to pin it down," said Carol Hively, Walgreen's corporate spokeswoman, adding the new store will have more parking than the current business at 1110 N. Main St. and also a drive-through window.

Mark Huber, director of the city's planning and code enforcement department, said Walgreen's received approval for the development plans that will allow the company to maintain the zoning variance it received from the city for two years.

Huber said Walgreen's requested a variance for landscaping in the parking lot to ensure trucks have enough space to get in and out of a planned loading dock. The next step with the city, Huber said, will be for Walgreen's to file its demolition application.

The plans for the new building will follow the company's current prototype store that has stores sitting at an angle, Hively said. The old store opened in June 1989.

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"So it would be due for some freshening up," Hively said.

The new store will have 14,800 square feet, a little larger than the current store's 13,500 square feet.

Hively said Walgreen's leases its current building on Main Street and will continue to operate from that location until the night before the new store opens to maintain services for customers.

"Everything will be transferred over during the night and employees of the current store would just report to work the next day at the new store," Hively said.

Walgreen's will own the store in the 1400 block of North Main Street, which is unusual for the company.

"We lease about 80 percent of our store spaces," Hively said. "We keep growing so fast, that it is much more practical for us to lease."

An estimated cost for construction was not available and Hively said Walgreen's typically does not release that information.

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