2002-10-09 / Front Page

Eckerd drugstore being constructed along Rte. 36

By elaine van develde
Staff Writer

Eckerd drugstore being constructed along Rte. 36


VERONICA YANKOWSKI Despite receiving final approval in June, the Eckerd drugstore planned for Port Monmouth is still only in the preliminary stages of construction.VERONICA YANKOWSKI Despite receiving final approval in June, the Eckerd drugstore planned for Port Monmouth is still only in the preliminary stages of construction.

By elaine van develde

Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN — An Eckerd drugstore is coming to the Port Monmouth section of town.

Though the Planning Board granted site plan approvals May 1, and a resolution was passed in June sanctioning the approvals for the store’s slated spot on eastbound Route 36 at Wilson Avenue, construction is just now getting under way, according to senior planner Rick Smith.

The store, in a B-2 business zone, will be an 11,347-square-foot retail pharmaceutical facility with drive-through prescription service.

The site is across the highway from a spot where plans to build a 7-Eleven 24-hour convenience store failed two years ago due to staunch objections from residents concerning traffic, hours of operation, and other implications.

Though similar traffic concerns were brought to the forefront with the Eckerd application, said Smith, the application ultimately passed public scrutiny.

The primary concerns associated with the 7-Eleven were lighting and 24-hour noise, along with early deliveries and hazardous traffic conditions wrought by the store’s slated configuration. Wilson Avenue at Route 36 was cited as an already borderline hazardous traffic area.

With the Eckerd, minor variances were needed, said Smith, to allow for less parking than required in the zone — 76 spots are required for a structure of this facility’s size, and 52 spots will be provided. Minor variances for rear-yard setback of the principal structure were also granted. A waiver for the normally required buffer area of 50 feet was granted.

The store abuts a neighborhood, and will sit, instead, 10 feet from homes. However, Smith said, there was mediation, and in exchange for the waiver, the owner will provide additional landscaping to form an effective buffer zone.

Eckerd chose the location "because of its easy access and steady traffic flow," said Smith.

There is no estimate when the store will open.


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