Commentary and Analysis on Businesses and Commercial Real Estate In and Around Downtown St. Louis.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This is not Downtown
In recent weeks, several people have asked me about the new Walgreens downtown.
Seeing as how downtown, for some reason, still does not have a Walgreens, it always takes me a second or two to realize that they’re actually referring to the new Walgreen’s on Lafayette, across from the old City Hospital.
I’ve also heard TV news reports mention this Walgreen’s as serving downtown as well.
You can call it by the name the city has given it – Peabody, Darst, Webbe – or by the greater area it serves – Lafayette Square – but this area is not downtown. This store is not at all convenient to downtown residents, office workers or tourists/conventioneers, all of whom who would most likely be running errands on foot or bike, and not by car.
Hopefully Walgreens realizes this and opens a true downtown location – in the CBD – in the days ahead. It’s amazing to me that a company that has been relentless in opening new locations across the city has ignored a relatively untapped market for so long. It seems that just about every city of comparable size to St. Louis has at least one, and we once had two locations just a short distance from each other. In the final days of St. Louis Centre, Walgreens was the only business that appeared to still be busy.
A Walgreens would give downtown another much-needed amenity, fill a fairly large vacant retail space, and help add a little more life to the street. If CVS wants to add a full-size store downtown instead, they’re more than welcome to beat Walgreens to the punch.