Share this article

print logo


Having attended the community meeting in which developer Carl Paladino presented his case for sacrificing two lovely, irreplaceable 1890s houses to make room for an expanded Rite-Aid store and parking lot at Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street, I cannot accept his arguments.

He says the store must expand because it is losing profits to the large new Walgreens at Delaware and North. I say with five other Rite-Aid stores in a roughly one-mile radius, Rite-Aid has saturated the market and become its own worst competitor.

He says these nearby Rite-Aids serve only "pocket areas." I say if this is the case, then this "pocket area" Rite-Aid hardly requires additional parking space, because it is unlikely to draw customers already served by another pharmacy.

He says "weak drivers" (translation: the elderly) require large parking lots to provide a sense of psychological safety. I say if developers would design for pedestrian, rather than automobile, convenience -- especially in this pedestrian-centered neighborhood -- then "weak drivers" might surrender their cars, something that would benefit everyone. This Rite-Aid, with at least three senior high-rises nearby, should offer a delivery service.

He says this store must double its floor space in order to compete. I say if this store provided pleasant service, plowed its sidewalks, concealed its ugly dumpster, installed adequate lighting in its parking lot, got a face-lift, ended the sale of alcohol and cleaned up its act, then it would quickly win back the customers it has alienated.

Cynthia Van Ness Buffalo

There are no comments - be the first to comment