By DAN TOMASELLO
PEABODY — The Board of Selectmen expressed concerns about the proposed CVS Pharmacy at 471 and 495 Broadway on June 4.
The selectmen attended an informational meeting held by CVS and Bridgewell representatives at the Holiday Inn in Peabody as private citizens to learn more about the project and residents’ opinions about it. The residents who attended the meeting raised a variety of different concerns such as traffic.
While Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford and Selectman Chris Barrett did not speak or ask questions during the informational meeting, Selectman Tom Terranova inquired why CVS decided to purchase the Bridgewell property and why they believe it’s a good location to open a new pharmacy.
CVS’ Director of Real Estate Debbie Constantine said CVS decided to purchase the Bridgewell property because of the site’s close proximity to Route 1. She also said Lynnfield’s demographics, population and medium income played a factor into the decision.
Constantine also noted CVS wanted to build a pharmacy across from Donovan’s Liquor in the past but said those plans never materialized.
“It’s the type of community we would like to be in,” said Constantine. “We have wanted to be in this community for a long time.”
After listening to the presentation, Terranova said the project would make traffic worse in the area.
“This doesn’t seem like it’s going to alleviate traffic, it looks like it’s going to increase it exponentially,” said Terranova. “If you are hoping to rally any kind of support, I don’t know what kind of a rabbit you are going to pull out of your hat. You need to find a way to alleviate traffic but I don’t know how you are going to manage that.”
Crawford also raised traffic concerns in an interview with the Villager after the meeting.
“The main problem is traffic,” said Crawford. “The building, the egress and the entrances don’t matter because it doesn’t solve the traffic problem. If you shut off Salem Street, the egress goes north on the ramp going toward Route 1 and all of the traffic is going to be funneled down Munroe Street. That does not work. If you leave the egress on Salem Street, it just clogs Salem Street up more than it already is. They have to come up with a plan that will solve the traffic problem before anything like this can go in.”
Barrett also raised concerns about the project in an interview with the Villager.
“I think (the opposition) is something I certainly expected,” said Barrett. “I live on Fairview Avenue right behind Perley Burrill and I deal with the traffic every day. I think adding a CVS at this point as it’s currently proposed is something I think as a neighborhood we certainly will have difficulty supporting. We saw a lot of opposition in the room.”
Barrett continued, “I think our priority should be cleaning up Perley Burrill. I want to make sure that is done the right way and I don’t think we are at the point where we can look to add a CVS. It’s a beautiful neighborhood and we have to protect its character.”