SAN MARCOS, CALIF. — Nov. 21 Residents in Santa Fe Hills and other neighborhoods around Palomar College in San Marcos can rest assured that a new CVS drugstore in their area will open early next year, people involved with the project said Tuesday. Some neighbors said recently that they were concerned, though, after construction stopped and after signs identifying the building as a CVS drugstore were covered up. However, Pat Cowen, director of construction for developer KZ Companies, which built the store, said the project was finished early.
The 14,000-square-foot store is on the northwest corner of Mission and Las Posas roads, north of Highway 78.
People who live in the area welcomed the drugstore project when it broke ground early this year, saying it would give them a long-awaited opportunity to get prescriptions filled, pick up over-the-counter drugs and buy other merchandise close to home.
Some neighbors said recently that they were concerned, though, after construction stopped and after signs identifying the building as a CVS drugstore were covered up.
Attempts to reach CVS officials were unsuccessful. However, Pat Cowen, director of construction for developer KZ Companies, which built the store, said the project was finished early.
CVS does not plan to open the store until early next year because the company is not prepared to do so during the busy holiday season, he said.
“For a large operator like CVS or anyone else like that to get all the employees and all the inventory at the store, it’s a huge operational effort, as you can imagine,” Cowen said. “And then also, with the holidays coming, they have to get all the special merchandise in their (existing) stores.
“But it’s definitely going forward and will be open early next year.”
Cowen said the signs were covered up to keep them clean and because CVS officials feared the signs might mislead people into thinking the store had opened.
City officials have acknowledged that the area lacks shopping opportunities and that they hope to see a grocery store open up there eventually.
The CVS drugstore site was part of 9 acres owned by World Premiere Investments until that company sold part of the land to the drugstore chain.
A tentative development plan that World Premiere submitted to the city in 2008 calls for a 60,000-square-foot grocery store and a 23,500-square-foot office or day care building to be built in the center, as well.
Consultants Collaborative has been marketing the site on behalf of World Premiere Investments. Matt Simmons, vice president of field operations for Consultants Collaborative, said Thursday that the recession had made grocery store chains wary of building a store in the new center at this time.
“But they’re actively pursuing it (and) marketing it,” he said about World Premiere.
Simmons said he recently got a chance to see the inside of the new CVS store.
“And it’s beautiful,” he said. “I’m a local resident here in town, and that’s going to be the closest drugstore to me so I’m going to be a customer there.”
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