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Warily, PTC planners approve big Walgreens at Peachtree Parkway / Hwy. 54

The Walgreens that will be replacing the Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Peachtree City “will be a big honking building” according to Planning Commissioner Patrick Staples.

But since the site plans meet all city ordinances and specifications, the commission had no leverage to force the building further away from the highway, or shrink it altogether as previously requested by a handful of residents.

The building will be about 50 feet closer to Ga. Highway 54 than the now-closed Ruby Tuesday, according to developer Scott Moore of United Retail. The Walgreens will be about three times the size of the Ruby Tuesday, but only about 1,000 square feet larger than the next door Rite-Aid pharmacy.

The commission did leverage several conditions on its approval of the architectural plans, including:

• Reducing the wall sign on the store enough to make it fit in better with architectural features on the columns of the tower. The sign will be facing Hwy. 54;

• Because three large trees in the landscape island along Rite-Aid are endangered, site developer United Retail will identify the type and size of trees that will be used to replace them as part of its future landscaping plan;

• A trellis feature on the site will be made of wood instead of aluminum;

• The addition of windows to break up solid brick on one portion of the elevation;

• The use of a shingled roof on the tower feature instead of a metal roof; and

• Looking at the possibility of reducing the car parking spaces by one to create space for three additional golf cart parking spaces. The site plan already has three cart spaces, and they are located close to the store, adjacent to the handicapped parking spaces.

“I think when this thing goes up, this facade goes up, and everybody drives by it, they’ll say ‘holy cow!’” said Commissioner David Conner. “... But I’m thinking it’s the best we can do.”

Resident Beth Pullias said she thought the site’s proximity to the road would “just be so overpowering.”

Resident Mary Giles said it would look “like an FAA strobe light” from Hwy. 54.

Because the site plan and architecture met the city’s ordinances and specifications, the commission had no way to force United Retail to move the building further back off the road.

Scott Moore of developer United Retail said he would take the sign restriction back to Walgreens for comment, but he indicated that would be a “very hard” matter to convince the corporation that the change was necessary.

Several commissioners noted the pressure was on for United Retail, and Walgreens, to execute the plan as presented.

“Do not disappoint us, please,” Commission Chairman Patrick Staples said in a stern voice after the commission’s unanimous approval of the site’s architecture.

Citizen opposition to the plans has been fierce due to the sensitive location of the store: at the intersection of Ga. Highway 54 and Peachtree Parkway, which in any other town would have intense commercial development on all four corners. But in Peachtree City, it has churches on two of the four corners.

In some ways, the Walgreens site will be an improvement, particularly in terms of landscaping compared to the current restaurant site. United Retail will be adding a landscaping area along the rear of the store to screen the trash compactor/dumpster area from view of those entering the site from the Peachtree Parkway entrance.

Also three parking spaces are being removed on the right of the Peachtree Parkway entrance to add a landscaping island.

Also, United Retail has committed to redoing all the understory landscaping along Ga. Highway 54, as it has fallen in disrepair. And more trees will be added along the rear where the site brushes up against adjacent residential property.

But the additional landscaping does not detract from the sheer massiveness of the new Walgreens, said resident Phyllis Aguayo.

“This is such an important corner,” she said. “Could we go beyond the minimum standards? Is it a problem if we feel we need more buffer and enhanced landscaping than is already in place? Do we have to accept the minimums is what I’m asking.”

United Retail’s Moore replied that the site will have more landscaping than required by the city.

“We are going above and beyond what the ordinance requires to try and do just what you’re asking,” Moore said.

Moore noted that the company would look to replace diseased and dead trees on the site with the largest trees possible, but in one case a 30-inch wide, 200-foot tall oak will have to come down and he can’t buy a tree that will replace it.

“When we’re dealing with landscaping, you have to have younger trees so the roots can establish and grow and flourish,” Moore said.

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Comments

I vote no, we don't want you Walgreen's. Peachtree City don't need any more "white elephants." I'd rather see another tatoo parlor.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

It is not as bad-looking as I thought it would be, although they are certainly showing way too many cars in the parking lot for a boycotted store.

Live free or die!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

If what the United guy said was true, that Walgreens had tried to take over the Rite-Aid store and also buy Rite-Aid out of the market - again, if that is really true, then Rite-Aide is just as stupid as Walgreens and neither will get my business. Here was a chance for Peachtree City to have a Walgreens (in the Rite-Aide building) and to keep the Ruby Tuesday on the corner. Win win all around. But no, because of 2 cases of corporate stupidity, we will have 2 drug stores side by side, until we have 1 and then we will have none. Walgreens will certainly pull a Kroger and not let a competitor into their building (they will own) after they fail and we will be left with a great big Dollar Store or worse.

Who actually makes these decisions? Grown-ups or some 25-year-old MBA with no retail or management experience. What fools! Doesn't matter to me, I will do 100% of my business at the Kroger Pharmacy - $8 per month. No need any longer to sympathy shop at Rite-Aid.

Live free or die!

PTC Observer's picture

by all responsible.

Mayors
Councils
Planning Commission
Corporate leadership

wait for the two dark stores on this corner.

I will never set foot in a Walgreens anywhere in the country again and will attempt to encourage all my family, neighbors, and friends to do the same.

mudcat's picture

PCDC created the covenant and the expiration date. It was actually a use resrtiction for a restaurant only. About a year ago and before the restriction expired, Frank (of Frank's in Palmetto) came to them and asked about restaurant locations in PTC. They showed him some land in Kedron for $600,000. He asked about Ruby Tuesday - no reponse. Frank is now the new owner of Old Mill and doing quite well.

A real sharp broker would have taken Frank to Ruby Tuesday with a combo purchase or lease offer and use restriction extension and Frank could have been on that corner instead of Walgreens. But these are the people who promoted Fantasty Fitness and even tried to shop the Ruby contract around to D'Lite's (remember them?) because a SR. VP had a share of the franchise for Fayette County.

Well, no matter. PCDC is out of the real estate business now. Wonder how the adjustment to Prudential is going? Wonder if the PCDC broker is at Prudential. Mabe they have some training programs for him (yes, it was a him - tall guy Frank's agent said).

I have never had much of a dog in this chase, but what is the important problems with a Walgreen? And, isn't it strange to give a zoning to a restaurant where only restaurants can be there---for any length of time?

Maybe some of the following,if answered migh explain it:

Who owns Ruby Tuesday land, anyone here have a share?

I have researched Walgreen and find no negative things about them.
What is it?

Is there a possible agreement to eliminate Rite-Aid there?

Why would someone not want a restaurant (Frank's) where only a restaurant could go? Personal opinion of "Franks?" As opposed to Walgreen?

PCDC people sued one another upon breakup----who won that and how many became very wealthy from PCDC? How?

Don Haddix's picture

Walgreen's first had a deal with the church across the street to buy and rebuild that location. The rezoning didn't get approved.

Then there was the desire to buy the Ruby Tuesday's site around July of 2007.

In January of 2008, when I came on as a Councilman, I proposed a Moratorium on Retail development to give us a chance to do some Ordinance and Overlay changes to get better control of development in such as the Ruby Tuesday's area.

It failed on a 3-2 vote with the majority saying it sent the wrong message to retail developers. As well it is interesting that at least two posting on this topic were either critical of the Moratorium proposal then or have been critical of efforts to control retail development in PTC. You cannot have it both ways guys.

A few short months after the vote Walgreen's bought the site with plans to build once the current lease and restrictions expired. So this became a done deal around March of 2008.

Before said, Moratorium's are legal when property structured and evenly enforced per the Supreme Court.

Now the only party that can stop this development is Walgreen's. They have no intention of either doing so or making the building smaller.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

That's because the cars are as phony as the phake photo. Enlarge that bldg. and place it out in front of the cars and you can see the monstrosity of an eyesore that Walgreens is shoving down our throat. Heard there will be no public bathrooms as mentioned before, too? That's ok, no public will be there to use em. Won't need the parking lot, either, no one is going there to shop. Rename 'em WallButNoGreen to be more accurate.

Are you saying that PTC can't get the real dimensions from an Architect's drawings and then measure it off at the lot?

Dumb.

Maybe Curly can do it?

Larry said all you do is just pick up the ugly Rite Aid bldg. next door, move it about 55-60 feet closer to Hwy 54 and slide it over onto the Ruby Tuesday lot, same distance from the curb on 54 as it would be next door. Then, make sure there are no parking spaces facing the bldg. They all face out toward 54 and the parkway. How in your face will that be? Don't need no architect for this mess. Just picture you great-grammy trying to fit into her girdle after having dessert on Thanksgiving. Does that paint you a pretty picture? Then, in a year or two, picture both of them empty with clear plasitc bags of last month's The Citizen laying around and dustbunnies rolling across the parking lots.

Glad someone wants to spend money here. You all should be happy about it. Stop sending companies over the border to coweta. Rubys food sucks now anyway. Last time I went my potatoes were half cold and half luke warm, the steak was not medium well as I ordered it was rare, and no one filled my coke up without being asked 2 times. Cant wait for the bulldozer. I want the bowling alley also. Our bowlings leagues can stay in town then. Great sport for the kids also and yes a place to hang. So stop bitching and welcome the new business. We need the tax dollars in case you havent noticed.

PTC Observer's picture

every other Walgreens I have ever seen, blight.

Who could take your name off you?

When you closed on this cold day....

Sure am gonna miss you.....RIP 12/13/2010

If all the yahoo neighbors of the Lutheran church had not signed a NO walgreens petition, and the city had worked with them both, this store would have been where the church is. It would have fit better, so this is like a pay back. I said back then it could always be worse. So you folks enjoy your new neighbor and lets hope Ruby Tuesday will buy the old Macaroni Grill that sits empty.

....of negative voices is just as anti-business as they ever were. How would you all like to have a room full of people criticizing every idea you come up with for improving your own property? GET A LIFE!
In case you folks haven't noticed, there is a RECESSION on....we need every Walgreen's, CVS, Rite-Aid, Krystal, Burger King, Kohl's, Belk's, K-Mart, and J.C. Peney we can get. And frankly - we don't CARE whether you like them or not. Don't like Walgreen's? Fine - go invest your taxes in Fayetteville or Newnan and leave the rest of us alone.
Good grief - what are you going to do with all that negative energy when you get old?

This store is approximately the same size as the Rite-Aid next door!

Why was it approved Warily? (cautiously and on guard).

The city lost it's ability years ago to "hide" such stores by allowing some to do as they please. I think that was deliberate! Developers nor real-estate people want everything hidden. Certainly not the wealthy business landowners here.

The "big show" of not wanting another business is for the benefit of those told better when they purchased their home here!

Auto title loans, more nail salons, more liquor stores, pawn shops, sex toy shops, down-town car washes, insane asylums, and offices for TV suing lawyers is next.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Ummmmm, you are saying build more stores because that will generate tax dollars to the community?
See, the way it really works is that the stores don't pay taxes, the customers do. And if you don't have any new people moving into the community, by definition you have the same number of customers. So let's just pretend that there are 20,000 drug store customer in PTC divided equally among CVS, Rite-Aid and Kroger. That's 20,000 divided by 3. Now Walgreens builds a store and we have 20,000 divided by 4. How does that produce more taxes?
And don't talk about real esate taxes, Ruby Tuesday was already paying them.
Does it create more jobs? Walgreens hires 11 people, Ruby Tuesday lets 20 people go.

Live free or die!

PTC Observer's picture

Stop it please, you are making way too much sense for this board, lefty brains are now smoking all over PTC.

I agree with Robert W. Morgan about there not being any gains.

The Walgreens would have been better at the Lutheran Church site. That way we could keep the Ruby Tuesdays for everyone to enjoy.

I am guessing Rite Aid goes out of business in three to four years.

If you owned Ruby Tuesday and Walgreen offered you more for the land than you had made profits in ten years, would you sell?

The Lutherans were offered several million for their home also and wanted to sell, but no correct zoning.

Now if churches will sell their home church and location, and one move off and leave their graveyard sitting on stilts, eradicating scores of years of locations of marriages worship and funerals, then why not a stupid restaurant?

It would be neat if we could fight our wars without guns! Just bare knuckles and rocks and slings.
Of course bare knuckles and slings don't kill people--people do!

Some places are even outlawing possession of guns, but under the theory of guns not killing people, we would have to outlaw people!

Someone's gotta pull the trigger, they just don't go off.

Oh and a person has to pick up a sling and a rock and has to throw a punch. So yes people kill people no matter what tool they use.

Do you really think 20 part-time people losing their jobs at Ruby Tuesday, making $8-10 per hour would stop Ruby Tuesday from making several million in profit on the sale?

Shouldn't Walgreen be taxed based upon the latest sale price of the property? Ask the people at Fayetteville?

There is always more for intelligent people to think about than a place to eat grease!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Probably not really lies, just lack of knowledge, but here they are:
1. Most at Ruby Tuesday (and most restaurants) make $2 or 3 per hour and share in the tips. The jobs are not part-time, instead a 60 hour week is the norm. Their actual rate is about $18 and hour when you factor in the tips.
2. Sales price was $1.8 million. They paid $500,000 when they bought the land, spent at least a milllion to build the building.
3. Walgreens will be taxed on the ppraised value of their new building, not the sales price of an old buiding that will be torn down before an appaiser ever visits. It will be too high, just ask the people in Fayetteville.

Live free or die!

You know squat about what waitresses and waiters make in a year's time.
Not even a large chain will pay $18 and hour and not even a Ruby Tueday and their beefburgers and cheapo fish can merit $15 an hour in tips--which is $900 a week in tips alone--yeah right in a recession, too.

Most restaurants pay for no health insurance and work people 30-35 hours per week to avoid paying benefits! Did you count OT on that 60 hours per week? All over 40 is OT!
We would have airline flight attendents and co-pilots working there at over a $1,000 per week!
You are a big blow-hard without any knowledge!

I said they should charge taxes on what the establishment is worth when completed, but they won't!
Just as multi-million dollar homes are way under appraised for taxes, so are commercial properties!
Citizens pay more than the value of a home however! In reality, a home that won't sell for any price is worth NOTHING!

You really wouldn't get any clarity out of the people in Fayetteville--they don't know now how to raise the money honestly that they want to pay all expenses and salaries.

I don't know why I bother to explain facts to you!

mudcat's picture

Joined 12/19/10. What other explanation is there?

Take your own advice. Its easier for you to move than to change a city to what you want. You like Newnan or Fayetteville better you should have moved there.

And Who exactly is this we? You don't speak for me. You don't speak for my family. Most the people I know are happy with the city the way it is. Not cluttered by shopping centers.

NinaLynn's picture

Sorry Ruby Tuesday Employees, you will be missed! What a waste,another Walgreens !

TinCan's picture

Anyone heard anything about whether Ruby's will be opening at another site in town?

PTC Observer's picture

I have attempted to find out but the only answer I get is "no decisions have been made" concerning a RT in PTC.

Maybe the Mayor knows?

Don Haddix's picture

The last comment I heard form RT was in 2008 at the time Walgreen's bought the site. They said they would relocate.

Currently nothing has been heard.

With DAPC defunded and the Coordinator not starting until January 3rd we are limited in pursuing items of this kind at this time.

Staff is pretty busy with other issues currently.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mike King's picture

Staff surely is busy taking vacation time or a reduced work week. A few speedtraps by PTCPD to garner perhaps another quarter million, and a wee bit of grandstanding last week to further dim your prospects for new businesses.

Ms Price did some great work for the city without a DAPC, now didn't she?

Other than that, you're doing fine.

PTC Observer's picture

"...a wee bit of grandstanding last week to further dim your prospects for new businesses."

Should read:

"....a wee bit of grandstanding last week to further dim your prospects for re-election."

MajorMike's picture

A better bit of errata would be "groaaannnn - give it a break". Haddix is sooooo much better than what he replaced.

You want to see a Fayette city that is anti business then visit Fayetteville. Back in June Fayetteville went from 25% to 30% business vacancy rate. Since then the Sears store (10,000 sq. ft.) closed and WoodWorld (10,000 sq. ft.) will close at the end of December. So what is it now - 35% ? . Thirteen business's closed during the 1999/2000 recession citing fayetteville ordinances (mostly sign ordinances)! Remember the A&T market across from Jordan salvage? They had just finished a $1m dollar renovation when they threw up their hands with the city and closed it down. It's now a Muslim worship/recreation center. Lots of tax revenue there right?

Fayetteville's response (then and now)? Tighten up on sign ordinances.

PTC has ALWAYS been anal retentive with ordinances. I think it was at it's worst under the Lenox administration.

What I remember is that it was a great place to buy groceries and especially meat. Their Butcher actually knew the difference between a Yield Grade 2 Carcass and others! They did operate in PTC after that--but only for a short time.

PTC Observer's picture

I can't disagree with this, but we can always hope for better. I am also happy to see him less on this board.

I suppose you can't run for office without having a hugh ego. If he can keep it under control he could be one of our better mayors.

Let's hope so.

Mike King's picture

Your criteria for rating mayors is much different than mine, but so be it. I simply believe that for a mayor to lose credibility within his own Council says volumes about a lack of leadership, foresight, team building etc.

Entering into a shouting match with a fellow Council member in the presence of kids doing a civics project is hard to overcome.

I agree with you on the anal retentiveness, but would say that its as bad now as ever.

A quarter million in fines? That is 1000, $250.00 fines! I guess it could be done---about 35 apiece for 35 cops who write tickets!

What did a Ms Price do? Why didn't someone give her a DAPC? (I don't think I have one either!).

What do you mean another Walgreens, We in PTC do not have one yet. We have 3 Rite aides. So put in the Walgreens, hoorah, and close the rite aide next to it. Then we still have 2 rite aides, 1 walgreens and 1 CVS. Now thats a bit more logical. Like I said before Ruby can steal that Macaroni grill buildinging and go in there, a perfect location.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Or Maxwells over by Home Depot.
Or one of the other restaurants that is destined to fail.

Come to think of it, this may not be the best time to open a restaurant.

Live free or die!

Love your comment about Ruby Tuesday's

It appears that any chance you can, you are going to deflect from an issue and bring up the defunding of DAPTC and the new coordinator.

For the sake of Peachtree City, stop playing politics and be a mayor!

Many of us are getting tired of your silly games. Stop messing around and do your job!

SPQR's picture

From Fox news

"Walgreen (WAG) weighed in Wednesday with a 19% increase in fiscal first-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street’s expectations.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based drug-store chain said it earned $580 million, or 62 cents a share, in the quarter ended Nov. 30. A year earlier it earned $489 million, or 49 cents a share."

They'll be sorry
Wait till they take a huge hit when they open up the boycotted PTC store.

No one will boycott Walgreens. They are most welcome here. For Gosh sakes how many Rite Aides does one city need. Lets spread the wealth. Now this little silly boycott crap reminds me of when Walmart and Home Depot were planning on building. Yup there was lots of bitching and we are going to boycott those stores. But you know what, those bitchers are now shopping there. No one cares about a boycott so dont waste your breath. If you want to boycott something try illegals working here illegally. Shop american not companies that send a nice little white boy over to give you the estimate and then a truck load of illegals to do the work. Now thats a boycott worth talking about. Keep your money in America. So Merry Christmas and I will see you at Walgreens.

SPQR's picture

I agree with you. I was Just poking fun at the idea of boycotting Walgreens.

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