The Committee of the Whole voted 8 to 6 to reconsider a CVS Pharmacy building project at the corner of Ohio Street and Washington Avenue.
Now the Common Council plans to take up the issue at its next meeting on March 15 after it rejected the plan in August.
If approved, the 13,000 square foot store would replace its current store a half-mile east at West and Washington, and that store would close.
CVS had an option to buy the buildings housing Racine Cyclery, American Coin, the vacant building in between and the empty cash store next door to Racine Cyclery. The store also was going to buy at least three homes and level it all to make way for the new pharmacy and parking lot.
Ald. Ron Hart questioned why the issue kept getting brought up.
“We’ve voted this down two or three times already… let’s quit wasting our time and move on,” Hart said. “Let’s let someone else get that property if they want it. Quit playing games here for crying out loud.”
Ald. Henry Perez supports the project and said it encompasses all the things he’d like to see in a project.
“If they are still interested, and they are… let’s give them an opportunity to present their case again,” he said. “We’re talking about being business friendly and we say we are business friendly doggone it. But let’s put some meat behind these things. And those comments about CVS being a bully and having minimum wage jobs, those are ridiculous.”
In order to move forward with the project, the Common Council would have had to approve rezoning the parcels to a commercial designation. Several alderpersons opposed the change because the area is supposed to be a buffer zone between the commercial corridor on the west side of the intersection and the residential neighborhoods of Manree Park and West Racine to the east.
After an August 3 vote denying the necessary rezone request, Alderman Henry Perez introduced a reconsideration measure, but it was defeated Sept. 1 with the 8-7 vote in which Mayor John Dickert cast the tie-breaker, saying approval would have set “a dangerous precedent.”
Kaplan told The Journal Times he still supports CVS’ efforts to open a new store at Ohio and Washington despite the company saying they’re not going to revisit the issue.
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