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Walgreens gets approval for 63rd Street location in Downers Grove

Downers Grove is closer to getting a new pharmacy.

Village officials reviewed a series of measures last week to advance construction for the property located at 2001 63rd St.

The matter was last discussed at an April 1 public meeting, at which point commissioners raised questions for the material that would be used to construct the pharmacy.

Commissioner Nicole Walus said there are reasons to continue to have concern with the request.

“I am worried about the durability and the aesthetics of the EIFS that is used mainly on the entire building,” she said.

Improvements to the site include building a new 14,490-square-foot Walgreens and drive-thru with 66 parking spaces. It further entails several measures to address concerns for traffic.

The Village wants the building of the pharmacy to serve as a catalyst for future development in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center.

“My concern is that we’re settling here for the bare minimum,” Walus said. “I’m not looking to completely kill this [proposal.] What I would like to do is refine it.”

Walus wanted the council to table the matter until Sept. 12 to allow the petitioner to have time to make changes to the proposal.

The proposed plans currently align with the Village’s Comprehensive Plan and zoning codes.

Renderings presented to the Downers Grove council for consideration provided the Village with Walgreens’ latest prototypical building design.

Commissioner Bob Barnett questioned the council’s focus and suggested that Village officials have conversations about codes at a later time.

“It’s not up to us to sit here and say, ‘Yeah, well, I wish they’d do something different for material type,’ when it’s privately funded, private property development that fits within our code,” he said.

The development in question includes a number of amendments that require the council’s approval.

Commissioner Marge Earl took a moment to explain the reason she will not be supporting the development.

“They’re asking us for a drive-thru, which is a special use,” she said. “I didn’t think that it was so far out of line to ask for something in return. Maybe, less EIFS on the building with an eye toward durability, so that this will be a lasting building.”

In a 3-4 vote, the council decided not to table the matter. Mayor Martin Tully and Commissioners William White, Hose and Barnett were the dissenting votes. In a pair of 4-3 votes, officials advance plans for the building of a convenience store with a drive-thru. Commissioners William Waldack, Walus and Earl voted against the proposed development. In a unanimous decision, the council voted to approve parking lot and façade improvements in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center.

Commissioner Greg Hose wanted to thank the petitioner from Walgreens for working with the Village.

“I know they’ve been looking to move the facility that was on Belmont [Avenue] for quite some,” he said. “[We’ve] been looking at this particular intersection for quite some time. We’re getting some, I think, welcomed renovations to the Meadowbrook Shopping Center along with it, and I think the Walgreens will be a very nice addition and keeping the sales tax here in the Village of Downers Grove, which is always good.”

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