Countdown to new CVS in former Andronico’s on Telegraph

CVS on Telegraph. Photo: Ted Friedman

A CVS under construction on Telegraph Avenue, in the former Andronico’s site. Photo: Ted Friedman

Construction workers have been spotted on Telegraph Avenue in the former Andronico’s location north of Derby Street, which is set to feature a CVS store and pharmacy in the 26,455-square-foot space.

Bill Cantrell, superintendent of construction for Eleven Western Builders, Inc., estimated recently that work could be completed by April, “but we don’t want to raise false expectations,” he said. (Ted Friedman, who has written for Berkeleyside, shared this information with us.) (Update: After this story was published, Berkeleyside heard from a CVS spokesperson who said they plan to open the store in May.)

Cantrell told Friedman that the new CVS, at 2655 Telegraph Ave., will include a discount liquors section.

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has on file a license for off-sale general sales, which is currently valid through June 30, 2013.

A CVS rep said Wednesday he would be available to provide an update about store plans next week.

Architectural drawings for a planned CVS on Telegraph. Photo: Ted Friedman

Architectural drawings for a planned CVS on Telegraph. Photo: Ted Friedman

Last March we wrote in Shop Talk that, despite the best lobbying efforts of Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates – who asked the owners of the old Andronico’s space on Telegraph to rent it to another grocery chain – CVS had committed to moving in.

Andronico’s closed its Telegraph Avenue location in November 2011 shortly after the University Avenue store also was shuttered in the wake of its parent company declaring bankruptcy.

In December 2012, CVS filed an application with the city’s planning department to request design review of the company’s signage. The plans note updates to ADA-required parking stalls and signage.

Cardinal red-colored signs for beauty products (“Beauty”), photo services (“Photo”) and the store name (“CVS/pharmacy”) will be visible from the west, according to the plans. A mayflower red color also is set to make an appearance around the site.

According to the CVS website, there are two other CVS stores in Berkeley, both on Shattuck Avenue.

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses [03.27.12]
Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses [12.20.11]
Bates: City needs another grocery store, not pharmacy [12.14.11]
Andronico’s on Telegraph Avenue to close [11.25.11]
Andronico’s and A.G. Ferrari saved from the brink [10.12.11]
Will pharmacy war lead to new restrictions in Berkeley? [04.18.11]

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

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  • EricPanzer

    I’m not in the habit of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good—or in this case the “marginally better than nothing”—so I’m not exactly “opposed” to the project. Nevertheless, the addition of yet another CVS on this site is deeply disappointing. Berkeley Bowl isn’t that far away, but it’s far enough and the nearby population dense enough that having another grocery here does make sense. What’s most disappointing to me, though, is that we’ll be stuck with the same ho-hum, single-use, auto-oriented little-box store. As is always the case with relatively large, well-located parcels like this, visions of mixed-use sugar plum fairies dance in my head, taunting me with dreams of—oh, I don’t know—three or four stories of apartments over a pedestrian-oriented grocery store, à la Trader Joe’s on University.

    Oh well. At least I can drown my disappointment with the discount liquor.

  • the Deer

    that WAS my favortie Andronicos. deeply annoyed by this, and agree whole heartedly with Eric.

  • Japhy Writer

    Oh there will be ground-floor residents at this CVS, at least at night.

  • Charles_Siegel

    This store was originally called “Andronico’s Park and Shop,” proud of the fact that it was auto-oriented.

    Drown your sorrows more cheaply at Trader Joes with Charles Shaw wine.

  • Donnie Dill

    CVS ?! Oh No. anything but CVS.

  • David D.

    Oh joy, yet another drug store. Le sigh. At least Telegraph Avenue is getting a CVS. We’re getting stuck with a Savers thrift store over here on University Avenue.

  • Mary

    I’m glad to have a drugstore close to home, but I wish they didn’t have a liquor license – that won’t exactly improve the neighborhood considering the number of bums who hang out in Willard Park.

  • David D.

    Don’t worry. If your neighborhood is like any other, the liquor license will draw “normal” people like me and you away from liquor stores, which are the real problem. The liquor stores will go out of business with any luck, and the bums will go away. I’ve never seen a bum buy liquor from CVS or Walgreens or Safeway or Lucky, but I see them hanging out at the local liquor stores all the time.

  • The Sharkey

    The liquor stores will never go out of business, because they prey on the addicted and the destitute.

  • Emily Cohen

    This makes me sad. I completely agree that we could have used another grocery store in the neighborhood.

  • 4Eenie

    Thank you Emilie for writing about this. You guys at Berkeleyside are good!
    I had written in to Berkeleyside about a week ago, asking what was happening at this location, at REEL on Shattuck and Derby, and at Iceland (last I heard they were planning to start work in January, but nothing happening yet). I’m not sure if this article was in response to my inquiry, but thanks again for keeping us informed of these sorts of developments.

    I really wish it would have been another grocery store or something other than a CVS. Sigh.

  • Biker 94703

    don’t worry, they’ll be out of business within 6 months.

  • Biker 94703

    Please more drugstores, pizza places, and ice-cream shops. WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH!

  • emraguso

    Your note didn’t make it to me but Ted was on the case. I noticed the sign application in December so it had been on our radar. As far as REEL — looks like it’s going to be a DaVita clinic ( Not sure about Iceland…

  • iicisco

    Another CVS? This could only be in response to Walgreens moving into the old ROSS location. If I’m correct, that would be the third CVS to open it’s doors here in Berkeley. Better yet Walgreens should have dominated the market, and dropped anchor on Telegraph. How about another Safeway instead? I reuse to shop at Berkeley Bowl(found a live fruit fly in a salad, the staff is rude, and the store is always crowded with patrons who show complete disregard for others trying to navigate the aisles). Mysteriously, Round Table Pizza disappeared off of Uni, and the other Dominos closed(good riddance). Hmm but what else could potentially fill such a large area? Another thieving bank? I think not. A mini Target perhaps. A metered parking lot could provide some use.

  • iicisco

    True. DaVita is going to be moving in there. I have mixed feelings on this. It provides a convenient location for the patients served, but on the contrary, it doesn’t really fit the surrounding area. Not to mention there is a fire station right across the street. Oh the irony! A few modern apartments would have been a better alternative…In my opinion..

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Wasn’t Iceland supposed to be a sporting goods store?

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Well the liquor stores, pizza and ice cream joints will generate enough people with diabetes and then renal failure, so DaVita may prove prescient.

  • Trader Joe’s isn’t a grocery. Groceries have scales at the register.

  • berkopinionator

    CVS beats the vacant graffiti covered nuisance that has been there since Andronicos closed. Now we should focus on re-opening the vacant Willard Swim Center/radish garden/transient crashpad across the street. It is disgrace that the Willard Swim Center, adjacent to Willard Middle School, remains occupied by homeless people living on the porch. When will the City of Berkeley renovate Willard Pool?

  • EBGuy

    I wonder if a pension fund would be more amenable to development, than say, an individual owner. Perhaps some sort of public/private model for getting density on the parcel with a continuing long term revenue stream. If I lived in this part of town, I’d be interested in getting something like that built.

  • 4Eenie

    Thanks for the follow-up. Regarding Iceland, in the last article Berkeleyside did on the subject (4 months ago), D. Rumberg indicated that they will start sometime in Jan/Feb, if there are no hurdles… wondering if there were hurdles or whether Sports Basement is cleared to move ahead…
    According to D. Rumberg, one of the Sports Basement
    partners, said in the comments section of the above article:

    Greg — We have building plans sitting in the Building Department waiting for a second round of comments. We’ve drifted a bit waiting for some more certainty. Providing no hurdles are brought forward, I suspect we can have plans out and start sometime in Jan 2013 give or take a month

  • EBGuy

    Measure N from the Nov 2012 election didn’t move the needle much (62.37 % Yes) compared to the pools Measure C from 2010 (62.37% Yes). Note also that almost twice as many people voted in 2012. Perhaps third time is the charm? I bet a targeted bond measure would pass.

  • guest

    Note that a large majority of the people in Berkeley want to fund the pools.