By Chris Boggus
Entirely East Lansing
The CVS on the corner of M.A.C. Avenue and Albert Avenue is currently pushing to expand the store’s availability to 24 hours.
“I would definitely like that,” said Jake Luddy, a downtown resident. “We live right across the street so it would be perfect.”
Downtown East Lansing is centered around its nightlife bar scene and restaurants, but where is the closest place to get groceries late at night?
Luddy’s roommate, Mitch Wayne, had similar things to say about CVS’ location. ”It’s great for the one or two things you need real quick, instead of going out to Meijer,” said Wayne.
Businesses cannot convert to 24-hour service until being approved by East Lansing’s planning commission. Planning and Zoning Administrator Darcy Schmitt met with her commission Wednesday, March 25, to discuss CVS and its plans.
“We have a very unique situation where all of our restaurants that serve alcohol until 2 a.m. are all in a very small area,” said Schmitt. “But when thousands of people are coming out of establishments at 2 o’clock in the morning, there tends to be more incidents.”
Safety was a main concern among the planning commission when the topic came up, but those concerns were quelled once Schmitt talked to East Lansing Police.
“We were able to sit with one of our police officers who does the rounds at the different bar locations,” said Schmitt. “He said he has no concern at all and it would probably actually help disperse the crowds out a little more.”
Dan Shimmer, owner of the CVS, was at the planning commission meeting sharing his reasons for expansion of hours.
“I’ve been in the market five years, I think the business will continue to grow. It has been a very, very good and prosperous establishment,” said Shimmer.
Aside from 7/11, CVS is the only store within walking distance where one can purchase groceries.
“If it’s makeup, you know like cosmetics or if it is just regular health and beauty items there is customers, especially on a college campus up at all hours, and it really opens up the opportunity to shop at their convenience,” said Shimmer.
Luddy and Wayne support the proposal, and Schmitt says CVS is close to getting approved.
“I don’t think they are going to have a problem getting approved,” said Schmitt. “It takes three months just because we have to do public notices both at the planning commission and the City Council, but it should be a pretty smooth approval process.”
The next City Council work session will be on April 14 where they will discuss the hours of CVS.