A Cleveland-based property development firm is acting on behalf of CVS to investigate purchasing a strip of property along Bardstown Rd. near Douglass Loop for a new store. The current buildings include the Twig and Leaf, the landmark diner that has stood at the corner of Bardstown and Douglass since 1941. Also in the strip are the properties formerly occupied by Dragon Garden and Club Grotto, up to 121 Main Place Hair Studio and Dundee Candy Shop.
“CVS told this company, The Zaremba Group, to look for a corner in the Highlands,” says Terra Long, legislative assistant to Councilman Tom Owen (8th District). “They asked for a very, very preliminary meeting to see what kind of hoops they’d have to go through with the Bardstown Road Overlay District.” Kroger owns the property at 2410 Bardstown Rd., on which the nearest CVS stands, but wants to reclaim the space once the drugstore’s lease expires.
As part of the investigation, Long says citizens are invited to a meeting for a preliminary review of the proposal. “They’re expecting a lot of people—that corner is one of the hot points in the Highlands,” with Deer Park, Highland-Douglass and Belknap all coming to a point at that corner.
“I personally think it’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to the neighborhood,” says Maria Moore, who owns Dundee Candy Shop. “I don’t like it. It would be a shame to lose businesses that have been in the neighborhood for so many years. I can’t imagine that corner without the Twig.”
Despite the potential outcry over the loss or relocation of local businesses, a drugstore of CVS’ scale promises to be a logistical nightmare. “Trafficwise, it’s a state road and they want an entrance off of Bardstown Rd. I don’t even know if they can even get a curb cut,” Long says.
The meeting will be held on Tues., March 23 at noon at 444 S. Fifth St., in the capacious first floor conference room.
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Photo: Eve Bohakel Lee