Rezoning proposal to move Walgreens

Residents of one Topeka neighborhood have more questions than answers over a proposal to move a Walgreen’s Pharmacy store from one side of a busy roadway to another. The new store would be near 29th and Gage.

With the proposal for a new Walgreens, 13 houses will be demolished. That is two additional houses than initially proposed.
And in the houses that remain, some residents say they don’t want a Walgreens in their ‘backyard.’

“Owning a property next to it, first and foremost, it’s going to depreciate the value of the property.” said nearby homeowner, Ted McKinley.

But one project developer says they’re doing area residents a favor.

“It really doesn’t support residential use any longer. It’s way too busy for people getting in and out of their homes. And so it gives them a chance to move on to something safer.” said Mark Wittenburg.

Wittenburg says that even though it’s a short move across the street, changes to the Walgreens are needed.
“We’re going to get it down to the right size, we’re going to put a drive-thru on it. It’ll be on the homebound and homebound sides. So everything will be right turns in and out of the facility, instead of making lefts across lane traffic.”

After a public meeting in June, developers made eight changes to the proposal. They include more property space, a fence, and additional greenery around the new store.

“We certainly have high hopes to improve the neighborhood and yes, we think it is a plan that will be acceptable.” said Wittenburg.

The rezoning request is set to go before the City Planning Commission on September 22nd. If approved, the project would begin in October.


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