CVS planned to build a new pharmacy on the property in 2013, but the town of Carrboro rejected their proposal because of parking and buffering concerns. The building remained neglected from then on until its demolition.
The struggle over the property began before Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle was elected. Lavelle said it has been a prominent issue during her time in office.
“It’s actually the number one concern I’ve heard about from people since I took office three years ago,” she said.
The building stood on the intersection of North Greensboro Street and West Weaver Street, two heavily-traveled roads. Lavelle said the town did not want a building in such a state of disrepair in such a prominent location.
“Over the years, I’ve tried to reach out to CVS about the building several times, and they always listened to me, but didn’t make much movement,” she said.
The town gained some traction in getting the building torn down when they passed an ordinance in November 2016. The ordinance granted town officials the authority to ask owners of vacant non-residential property to perform an inspection if the town has safety concerns.
After the town passed the ordinance, CVS was given a notice requesting that they inspect the vacant building on their Carrboro property. According to the inspection, the property was unsafe.
“Something had to be done immediately,” said Carrboro Planning Director Trish McGuire. “The option was presented to the property owners’ representative of taking the building down, and they chose to pursue that.”