CVS Eyes West OC Relocation

SNOW HILL — A proposal for the relocation of a West Ocean City CVS Pharmacy received the unanimous approval of the Worcester County Planning Commission last Thursday. Questions were raised, however, about the future design of the store.

“We have trouble in defining architecture,” admitted Commission President Brooks Clayville.

Though Clayville maintained that it wasn’t the commission’s job to enforce a particular kind of architecture, he did say that new buildings in the area are encouraged to fit in with the overall style of Ocean City.

“It’s got to be kept scenic,” Commissioner Jeanie Lynch told Matthew Allen, a member of Bohler Engineering, one of the firms involved in the CVS relocation.

Allen agreed that any suggestions made by the commission would be taken into account when the plans were finalized. As it stands, only the basics are known. The proposed site for the new CVS will be the intersection of Route 50 and Keyser Point Rd. Allen explained that the current building at that location, a mattress store, will be demolished and an 11,996-square-foot pharmacy will be built in its place.

“It’s a very strange space to work with,” said Lynch.

The new CVS will connect to the neighboring Wawa gas station and will require the relocation of parking lot entrance points.

“The site’s kind of unique,” agreed Allen, who added that the current plan couldn’t be carried out without the full cooperation of Wawa since the two businesses would be so closely linked.

Fortunately, Allen told the commission that Wawa was onboard with everything so far.

Because the location will be adjacent to a Rite Aid Pharmacy, the commissioners wondered about how crowded the market might become. Allen acknowledged that moving in a few dozen yards from the Rite Aid would certainly put the stores in competition, but he saw no problem with that, especially since the CVS isn’t a new installation but a relocation from several miles east on Route 50. That CVS, which is located in the Route 611 Food Lion Shopping Center, will be closing.

Allen pointed out that the new building would be about 2,000 square feet smaller than the typical CVS design, which will also make it smaller than the nearby Rite Aid. He explained that any traffic generated by the CVS drive-through pharmacy would be “very low volume.”

Seeming satisfied, the commission ended the meeting with a suggestion for exactly what kind of architecture it would like to see in the building. Lynch informed Allen that she had done online research into CVS stores around the country and had found one in Maine that “looked like it was tailor-made” for Ocean City. Allen promised to follow-up on the information.