National retailer to move out of Upper Valley Mall, build store nearby

6:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Business

CVS Pharmacy plans to build a standalone store on a lot next to the Upper Valley Mall and is expected to close its location within the mall.

Documents filed with the Clark County Community and Economic Development Office show the pharmacy chain has submitted plans for a 9,327-square-foot store and drive-through at 1475 Upper Valley Pike in German Twp. The one-story building would be valued at about $900,000, according to a permit filed by the company.

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Local officials have approved the permits allowing the project to move forward on an outlot of the Upper Valley Mall, said George Degenhart, planning and zoning director for German Twp.

Brenda LaBonte, general manager at the mall, also confirmed CVS will move but declined to provide any financial details about the transaction. She said the chain’s location near the mall’s entrance on Upper Valley Pike will be more convenient for customers.

“When the time comes we will do what we do with other spaces where we’ll canvas for both appropriate traditional and non-traditional tenants to fill that space,” she said.

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The existing CVS store is one of the larger national retail tenants remaining at the Upper Valley Mall. The shopping center has increasingly provided space for small, local businesses as national retailers and longtime anchors have closed.

Last year, Michigan-based retailer MC Sports filed for bankruptcy and said it would close all of its stores, including at the German Twp. mall. Chakeres Theaters Cinema 5 also closed last year after serving as a tenant near the mall’s entrance for about five decades. Elder Beerman, J.C. Penny and Macy’s also previously closed their stores there.

Few details are available while an agreement is pending, said Amy Lanctot, a spokeswoman for CVS. However, she said an agreement could be finalized as early as April, and if it continues on schedule the store could be finished by the end of this year or early next year.

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The sale hasn’t closed, Degenhart said, but CVS is purchasing one acre of property from the mall for the project. The property is located near the parking lot entrance at Upper Valley Pike.

“They’ve been pleased with the mall,” Degenhart said of talks with the project’s developers. “But in this day and age of changing retail a drive-through is a requirement.”

The chain wanted to maintain its location near the mall, he said, but will build its own standalone store on the site. The CVS store inside the mall will likely become available for rent.

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The space makes sense for CVS to develop because it already has access to utilities, Degenhart said. It’s not clear if the development of the outlot could eventually lead to more future development in that area, he said.

County and local economic development officials have long been trying to determine the best use to spur further development in that area, but Degenhart said the retail industry and consumer habits are changing so that hasn’t been easy.

“Right now it is difficult to identify what do we need in our community with the structural change that’s going on,” Degenhart said.