News that the CVS Pharmacy, awkwardly placed at the back of the lot at Circle and Harlem will close in mid-August isn’t much of a surprise. It has always seemed like an also-ran store with an indifferent staff — though we’d note that criticism could apply to a lot of chain retail these days.
The news, though, does take us back to an ambitious and unfulfilled moment in Forest Park’s economic development history. The parcel containing both the CVS and the Dunkin Donuts, and, if memory serves, what is now Pep Boys, was owned by one local entity. Just to the south the grimy but iconic Nutbush bar and liquor store — iconic as an early gay bar — had closed.
That left the whole block potentially available for redevelopment. There were big ideas from the village for mixed-use retail and housing right at the Green Line. Didn’t happen. A project that needed all the cards to fall in the right way. They didn’t. Soon we’ll be left with an empty mid-sized box.