CVS presents ‘vibrant proposal’ to Red Hook village planners

After months of speculation and zoning negotiations, representatives for CVS went to the Red Hook village planning board May 8 seeking site plan and special use permit approval for a new CVS store at the old IGA site on North Broadway.

Attorney Anthony Morando of Cuddy and Feder, who represented CVS and the developer, TCM Northeast 2, explained that they intend to replace the existing 23,400-square-foot grocery store with a 13,745-square-foot new building that has a drive-thru on the north side.

Morando said the smaller building will allow CVS to replace one third of the existing asphalt at the 2.3 acre site with new landscaping, sidewalks and a pedestrian plaza with benches.

“We believe that this project will literally and figuratively change the landscape of the northern portion of Route 9,” he said. “We think it will be a vibrant proposal, hopefully welcomed by the village.”

Shannon Rutherford, director of land development at the VHB Company of Connecticut, presented full-color renderings of the plan and described the layout. The store will have a customer entrance facing Route 9 (North Broadway) with a pedestrian plaza in front of it. There will be two full access driveways, one on North Broadway (that will align with the southern outlet of Old Post Road across the street) and the other on Cherry Street (the existing but closed-off entrance there will be widened from 20 to 24 feet). Bicycle racks and two electric vehicle charging stations will be installed near the front of the store. A six-foot stockade fence will screen much of the parking area from neighboring homes to the north and on the east and western sides of Cherry Street.

Architect Frank Fraga of NORR architects of Detroit, Mich., described the building design as rectangular in a “historical colonial” style, with 6-inch, medium gray plank siding and gabled roofs, charcoal colored asphalt shingles and a 3-foot red brick base around the entire structure. Inside, the southern half of the store will be retail space; the pharmacy and drive-thru will be on the north side.

The board questioned placing the customer entrance facing the parking lot, which will be on the southwest side, instead of facing Route 9. But Morando said changing the entrance would mean completely re-configuring the whole plan.

The board also said the size of the planned 10 ft. by 6 ft. freestanding sign for the pharmacy was too large and would block the view of the Elmendorph Inn nearby. They also felt that the road on the northern side of the building needed to be widened so that cars could more safely pass other vehicles waiting at the drive-thru. Morando agreed to work on both problems.

The board declared itself lead agency for a Type 1 SEQR action, with all project maps to be submitted to the state’s Department of Transportation, the county Department of Health and the State Historic Preservation Office. The board also established a $10,000 escrow account for legal and engineering expenses, to be replenished when 50 percent depleted.

The CVS representative agreed to have the necessary SEQR paperwork ready for the board’s June 12 meeting.

This post was updated to reflect that the planning board questioned having the entrance face the parking lot on the southwest side and not the pedestrian walking area facing Route 9.

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