Shoppers get ready, Walgreens is coming to the corner of Williamsbridge Road and Morris Park Avenue. In addition, a new, larger parking lot will handle the shoppers.
The lot, which sits next to the current lot for Citibank at 1800 Williamsbridge Road, was built on an area that had never been developed because of large rock outcrop.
The Walgreens project calls for nearly doubling the size of what had been a Blockbuster Video into a ninety by nintey-foot drug store.
Developer John Matthews of Longview Construction, who is building the Walgreens, said that the new parking lot will service Citibank customers while the existing parking lot is taken up by both the expanding store and the staging area for the construction.
“The Citibank branch will stay open during the construction, and we have to provide them with 19 spaces at all times,” Matthews, the general contractor and superintendent, said. “The new parking lot we constructed will be the temporary parking lot for Citibank as we work on the Walgreens building. When construction is finished, we will join the new and existing parking lot together.”
Matthews said that when the Walgreens opens sometime next winter, the new parking lot’s entrance will be closed and part of the existing parking lot and the newly constructed lot will be joined.
The new parking lot will be handsomly landscaped, and Matthew’s crew is already installing a retaining wall and an eight-foot tall cedar privacy fence that will separate the property from adjoining property on Yates Avenue.
In addition to shrubs and grasses, to be planted in and around the perimeter of the parking lot, around October there will be a complete replacement of the property’s sidewalk. Seven trees will be planted on the street and an additional 12 trees will be planted throughout the lot. These will include Princeton Sentry Hawthornes, Skyline Honey Locusts, and other kinds of trees.
The privacy fence has already been installed and the rest of the fence will go up as the rest of the project is completed. The project also includes a new roof for the entire building.
In order to construct the parking lot Community Board 11 had to remove restrictions on the vacant lot that limited its development. According to CB 11 district manager John Fratta, the community has been supportive of the project so far.
“We haven’t received any complaints about the Walgreens project,” Fratta said. “They came to us to have a no-build restriction lifted where they constructed the new parking lot.”
This restriction had been in place since the original construction of the building, Fratta said. Since they were building more parking, Fratta said the board felt it could lift the building restriction. Because more parking, as Bronxites know, is almost always welcome.