You Don't Say...
You've likely read by now, either in tonight's newspaper or on social media, that the Columbia City Council rejected CVS' third proposal to build a location at Providence and Broadway. THIRD. ATTEMPT.
I would love to know the number of stores that the CVS corporation has successfully opened across the United States while we've wrangled around with a decision about a SINGLE STORE. A single store, on a single plot of land, on a single intersection, in a single mid-sized city. (I'd also love to know the number of towns in Missouri that would do absolutely anything to have an actual pharmacy within city limits.)
And the best irony of this story is that if the proposed construction project for that intersection were a 15-story parking garage or an eight-story student living complex, those projects would be complete by now. In less than half the time we've worked on the CVS debacle, the Macaroni Grill on Stadium has been torn down and replaced with a brand-new Chick-fil-A store that opens next week. Also, has anyone noticed that you can't drive 1.3 miles in this town without looking at a newly constructed mattress store? How many people have the need to visit a Simmons Beautyrest Gallery on the regular? (Apparently, a lot of people.)
But look, there is the thing: CVS has done their due diligence. Whatever the city has requested (including a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, which couldn't have been easy), CVS has brought to the table. The person who is trying to lease the land to CVS, Mark Stevenson, was quoted as saying that "at a certain point, they may quit" trying to build at the site. Huh. You think? If I were CEO of CVS, I would pack up my proposals and my plans and start to say hello to Fulton, Boonville, Jefferson City, Mexico, and the 15 other towns within a 75 mile radius that would probably roll out the red carpet. Forget Osage Beach though...they already figured out how to let Walgreens and CVS co-exist within the same square mile and it has worked out JUST FINE.
And the most ridiculous part of this story is that originally CVS planned to build two or three stores in Columbia. Each store was projected to generate around $65,000 each year in sales tax revenue...not to mention a solid number of full and part-time jobs. But I guess we aren't interested in that, because we are more worried about whether a mezzanine qualifies as a fully functional second story. Because the proposed CVS needs a building that has a fully functional second story according to City Council. I guess so the employees have a better view of the empty parking lot across the street and the payday loan place on the opposite corner? Ah, yes, it all comes together now...
Come on, City Council.