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What Should Replace the Vacant Walgreens?

With the new Walgreens construction already complete, the old store just a few blocks west is now vacant. Skokie Patch spoke to nearby residents to see what they feel should replace the now vacant building.

The old Barnum and Bagel building has been vacant for several years now. The owner of the building has had a hard time finding a buyer to fill the space.

Now, a nearby building of similar size will also be vacant.

The old Walgreens located at the intersection of Dempster Street and Karlov Avenue is now vacant. The store is being replaced by what Walgreen officials are calling their "flagship" store, which will be located at the intersection of Crawford Avenue and Dempster Street, or just a few blocks east of the now vacant building.

We asked several nearby residents what they thought should replace the now vacant building.

"I just want to see something that is not busy," said area resident Adward Yalda, who lives on Karlov Avenue, or about 100 yards from the now vacant Walgreens. "We are happy that it is gone. My street was very busy before, but now, it has quieted down a lot more.

"I really don't feel any different now that it's gone; I can go to the same store just a few blocks over," Yalda added.

Meanwhile, Leslie Riley has lived directly next door to the now vacant Walgreens for more than10 years.

"I'd like to see [the building] replaced with something that is not 24-hours a day seven-days a week," Riley said. "Something that is not very busy. There would be a lot of noise after 10 p.m. [when the Walgreens was open.]

"I'm not going to miss it," Riley added. "I can go down a couple of streets, but at the same time, you want the building to be filled because you want the community to prosper."

What did our social media fans say?

  • Terri Mlotek said a "Whole Foods would be nice."
  • Ela Abdul Grajnert, among several others, said "Trader Joes."
  • Norma Holder suggested a "Dollar Tree."
  • Sharon Serences Newman said "Indoor golf."
  • And finally, Dennis Leancu suggested "The Skokie Nightclub."

Dempster-Crawford residents concerned

In October, Patch spoke with several residents that live where the newly constructed Walgreens is located, near Dempster Street and Crawford Avenue. Some residents gave bitter-sweet thoughts about the upcoming store, however.

"I think it is going to be really convenient because I live with my grandma and we can now walk to the store and get everything we need," said Brittney Jones, 26, who lives adjacent to the new Walgreens on Harding Avenue. "I think [the Skokie Walgreens] will be like the big one in downtown Chicago. It's kind of cool."

However, Jones does have her concerns.

"I think the Dempster-Crawford intersection is going to be a nightmare," she said.

The new Walgreens store has a pharmacy exit sign that allows cars to only turn left onto Harding Avenue, leading them immediately to Dempster Street. However, cars may enter Walgreens from Harding while some motorists may ignore the exit sign altogether.

"It's already so busy right now," Jones added. I'm already seeing cars cut through my street to bypass the traffic and I think it will only get worse once the new store opens."

The new store will be 13,125 square feet on a 42,000-square-foot parcel. While it will only be one story, it will stand 22-24 feet high, making it the equivalent of several multistory buildings. The store will sell fresh produce along with other groceries.

What do you think?

What do you think should replace the now vacant Walgreens near Dempster Street and Karlov Avenue? Post your comment below or share your thoughts on Skokie Patch's Facebook page.

Sandrina Roc November 02, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Why not put another bank? We all know we need more banks in Skokie :) How about Egg Harbor or Eggcetera? Yes to Trader Joes but they won't want to pull business from Evanston. No to CVS since I have stock in Walgreens ;) We'll see.
Denise November 02, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I know for sure that lots of people would love something healthy there LIKE A TRADERS JOE'S we need one in Skokie PLEASE :>))
George Park November 03, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Traders Joe's - YES!!!
Xandra November 03, 2012 at 08:54 AM
If it's not another Chase bank or Subway, it may just remain empty, just like the old Leona's lot. If you don't want busy, why move to a busy area?
Cyn November 03, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Trader's Joes!


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