Walgreens plan a loser with town design board
By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: October 12, 2012
Gaining approval for a Walgreens on West Broadway will take more than just adding employee housing to the project.
Members of the Jackson Design Review Committee were not impressed Tuesday by new drawings for the Walgreens store, despite the addition. Developers included the employee housing in an effort to bring the proposal in line with the new comprehensive land-use plan. But the committee didn’t like the look or the layout of the proposal.
“I think it’s a disaster,” committee member and architect Eric Logan said. “The whole thing seems very unfriendly and unwelcoming. Not a positive addition to the main drag of town.”
Preliminary drawings for the 13,328-square-foot store came before the committee in August and did not include employee housing. A three-unit, 2,300-square-foot residential complex was added to designs for the property, located at the corner of Budge Drive.
Tim MacDonald of Bencor Inc., the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based developer of the project, said Tuesday the addition of the housing would help the project gain approval of town officials.
While the Design Review Committee is only a recommending body, it is the first stop that large projects must make as they work through the town planning process.
Committee members decided to continue the project to the next meeting, giving Hawtin Jorgensen Architects time to come up with something new.
Committee members found the plan uninspired.
“I just think it doesn’t indicate anything that’s unique for this location of prominence,” committee member Karen Parent said.
“For town citizens, I don’t think they’d be impressed,” K.J. Morris said. “It doesn’t have any relationship to Jackson as I see it.”
While committee members appeared to dislike the entire project, they were especially critical of the site plan and the location of the residential complex, which they said had no relation to the larger Walgreens building.
They also balked at the proposed concrete block siding for the building.
Parent cited Smith’s Food and Drug, Kmart and Albertsons as chain stores that have integrated their designs well with Jackson’s character.