Walgreens has agreed to sell the lot on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights Boulevard to the City of West Hollywood for $7 million.
The City Council will be asked at its meeting on Monday to approve the purchase. To date city officials have said they are not sure how the property will be used. It is nearly one acre in size, and its location on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard makes it a very prominent site.
If it purchases the site, the city will be responsible for reducing the impact of dry cleaning solvent in the ground and of soil vapor that might be able to enter two housing units on Crescent Heights Boulevard.
While it is unclear how the property will be used, residents have repeatedly asked for more parking in the city and more park space, both of which could be provided on that lot. The purchase would bring to an end a 10-year effort by the drugstore chain to develop the property, where Walgreens had planned to build a shopping plaza with a drug store and other shops and 20 apartments.
After Walgreens acquired the property it upset neighbors by forcing out a number of local shops and restaurants and a church. Among the more popular, which moved to new locations nearby, were Marco’s and Tasty Donuts. Neighbors also pressed the city to demand that Walgreens and its developer, Pacific Development Partners, conduct an expensive and lengthy review of the potential environmental impact of the project. Some City Council members also expressed concern about the impact of the project and its design, given that it occupies a prominent place on Santa Monica Boulevard, which is West Hollywood’s “Main Street.”
The decision by Walgreen’s to try to negotiate a sale follows an announcement by the drugstore chain this spring that it was closing 200 of its 8,232 drugstores in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The Council will consider whether to approve the purchase at its meeting on Monday night, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.