CVS, Bank One coming to Kimbark Plaza

By Art Kimball-Stanley

Over the next few months, Kimbark Plaza will undergo significant remodeling as two national chains, CVS/Pharmacy and Bank One, are planning to move into the 53rd Street commercial cooperative.

Within the next month, Bank One is expected to open at the former site of Video Connection, which has temporarily moved to the East side of the Plaza where. Anderson Ace Hardware once existed. Video Connection will move back to the site, which it will then share with Bank One when the space has finished being remodeled.

Tony’s Sports and the former space for Anderson Ace Hardware will be demolished to make way for CVS/Pharmacy. CVS hopes to begin construction within the next 9 months and plans to open the all-brick 10,000-square-foot site in 2005.

The new store will operate 24-hours a day, and provide many of the same services and products that Walgreens supplies.

There are already three pharmacies within the Hyde Park community: Walgreens, located on 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue next to Coop Markets; Osco Drug at 53rd Street and Dorchester Avenue; and Katsaros Pharmacy, in the Hyde Park Bank Building at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue. Katsaros Pharmacy is independently owned, and has been in Hyde Park for 30 years.

The Hyde Park CVS is just 1 of 10 new Chicago locations that the Rhode Island-based company plans to build, Lee Winter, vice president of local CVS developer Gershman Brown & Associates, told the Hyde Park Herald.

Third-year Josh Tice, who currently lives at 54th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, is excited about the opening of the new CVS because of its location. “Walgreens isn’t very convenient for those living close to campus because it usually takes about 20 minutes to get there.”

Tice is also enthusiastic about the long hours of operation of the new CVS. “There have been many times when I’ve been hungry and everything else is closed.”

Taylor Henderson, a fourth-year in the college, believes that the diversity of stores will add increased competition among 24-hour pharmacies. “It’s probably good that it’s a CVS and not another Walgreens,” he said.

While the University was not involved with the deal, officials said they are pleased with the arrangement. Henry Webber, vice president of community and government affairs at the University, said that CVS’s plans offer to make the plaza and the street more attractive.

When asked how the new CVS would affect the other pharmacies in the community, Webber said that there is a role for them in the neighborhood. The University owns an approximately 20-percent share in the Kimbark Plaza, which is not a controlling share.

“It’s really incorrect to characterize this as a University deal,” Webber said.