ALAMEDA -- Crews are busy laying the groundwork for a new CVS store and Chase bank on Park Street, but whether the pharmacy will be open 24-hours a day still must be decided by the City Council.
The council also must decide whether the property, which is adjacent to the Marketplace, should feature a driveway that motorists can use to exit onto Park Street, a proposal that could mean a new traffic signal on the street.
Developer Foley Street Investments LLC wants the council to lift the restrictions on the hours and driveway configuration -- both put in place by the Planning Board last month -- when it meets on Tuesday.
The developer initially wanted the CVS store to open 24 hours a day and include a drive-thru lane as a way to boost customer service. But nearby residents opposed the idea, gathering a petition with about 35 signatures that helped prompt the board to limit the pharmacy's hours. It currently must close at 11 p.m.
The board's decision to add restrictions on the driveway configuration -- making it only for customers arriving at the businesses -- was to lessen the effect on pedestrians and to maintain traffic flow on Park Street.
The developer argues, however, that the Alameda Fire Department may require the driveway to be at least 20 feet wide for emergency access and so increasing it another four feet for two-way traffic would have minimum impact.
A new traffic signal could also increase pedestrian safety,
City officials reject both arguments and are urging the council to uphold the board's decision.
The property, which borders Foley Street and Tilden Way, was once the home of Good Chevrolet and is considered a "gateway" to the Island since motorists frequently pass it as they enter or leave Alameda via the Fruitvale and Park Street bridges.
One building will reflect the architecture of the Marketplace, while another will be similar to the building that houses Tucker's Ice Cream on Park Street, according to the designers.
The building that would accommodate the CVS store would measure 16,778 square feet, while the second building would be 7,788 square feet.
The neighboring Marketplace measures 19,430 square feet.
City officials say they would have preferred a mixed-use, two-story building to house the CVS store, such as the building that now houses Starbucks at Park Street and Central Avenue. But they have also noted that the city's zoning and other regulations do not require it.
An 85-spot parking lot is planned for the site, and the sidewalk on Foley Street will be rebuilt as part of the project, according to city officials.
Once the work is complete, the CVS store at Oak Street and Santa Clara Avenue is expected to close. It remains unclear, however, what may move into that site, which borders the city parking garage and is near City Hall and the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex.
The Alameda City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.