By Neil Schulman
Long Branch — A CVS with a unique design to reflect the fact it is near the shore has been approved for the “five corners” intersection at the end of Broadway.
On Oct. 24, the Long Branch Planning Board unanimously voted to grant the application to build the pharmacy in the city’s redevelopment zone, on the 1.45 acres where several used car lots and repair centers currently stand.
Because the building is in a redevelopment zone, and because it can be seen and approached from several different directions, architect Robert Gehr of Larson Design Group said that it had a unique look.
“I’ve been working with CVS for the last 16 years… we’ve done about 350 projects for them,” he said. “We wanted to create something unique to Long Branch, something that had seaside elements.”
Most CVS’s have a single entrance at the corner of a building. This one will have two entrances on either side of the building, which lead into an internal vestibule. Designers said the effect was similar to supermarkets such as ShopRite, where there are multiple ways into the main entrance.
The lot will be accessible from entrances on North Broadway and South Broadway. There will be 60 parking spaces, a typical amount for a CVS this size.
The coloration is slightly different than normal a CVS, to reflect the seaside feel, and to tie in with the redevelopment district, Gehr said. The material will be more durable than the stucco sometimes used, to ensure it can take the salt air from the ocean a block away.
To maintain the feel of the redevelopment zone, the lot will be lit with lights similar to those used in Pier Village. CVS will be open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. every day, with low lighting for security after that time.
Douglas Grysko of Dynamic Engineering Consultants said that the new store would bring about 25-30 jobs to the area.
He also said that two parcels of land on the property, one about 5,700 square feet and the other over 7,000 square feet, would be given to Long Branch as “out parcels” for use in other redevelopment attractions.
Because of those two pieces of land dedicated to the city, developers said that they had to ask for some minor design waivers on set back and other issues to comply with the redevelopment zone requirements. They said the property would have been completely compliant otherwise.
Kathleen Billings, City Council liaison to the Planning Board, said she had been following this project closely, since the council serves as Long Branch’s redevelopment authority and needed to give conceptual approvement first.
“I want to commend you on the design,” Billings said. “I think the building definitely is unique. It’s not a square brick box.”