By Frank Lewis
In January, Hometown Development, represented by Jeff Albrecht and Brian Noble, announced they were in the process of purchasing the property that is the block of 11th Street between Chillicothe Street and Gay Street to build a new CVS store and hopefully develop the entire block. Now, Albrecht says, they have closed on that property.
“It was probably one of the most complicated closings I have completed but all is well and it is done,” Albrecht said. “We expect to start razing the buildings on the site in the very near future.”
At the time of the original announcement, Albrecht said he was hoping to entice other companies to locate in that block, but mentioned it is difficult to convince national retailers to come to Portsmouth. Albrecht is banking on having the CVS as an anchor store draw others to locate nearby, specifically in the former Fazoli’s/Rax lot.
“I am especially happy to work on this project. With the renovation of the Holiday Inn at the south gateway to the downtown and now with these new projects at the north gateway to the downtown, I am hopeful that the middle will continue to fill in,” Albrecht said. “The corner at 11th and Chillicothe streets is the busiest corner in Portsmouth. There are a significant amount of out of town cars passing that corner every day. I am hopeful that it will help create a feeling for those passing through town that things are happening in Portsmouth.”
In January, City Council voted to bring forth an ordinance vacating 140 feet of Maple Alley and 80 feet of Pfau Alley in the area of 10th Street and 11th Street at Chillicothe Street to Gay Street, to make room for that development. That ordinance came to fruition, clearing the way for the development company to close on all the property.
While not the largest model, the new CVS store will be a larger store than the one currently on Chillicothe Street, which Albrecht said will produce additional jobs. Albrecht said the current CVS store on Chillicothe Street will be closed.
“They (CVS corporation) will love it,” Albrecht said. “It will be a great location. It will be a beautiful building with plenty of parking and easy access. It has 13,225 square feet. Of course that means more employees and more opportunities, so I’m real excited to be a part of this project.”
Albrecht said he would like to have a food business in the development too. He said that if anyone would like to operate such a facility there, they should contact him. Albrecht’s office is at the Holiday Inn in downtown Portsmouth.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.