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Demolition Slated to Make Way For Proposed Walgreens

A batch of restaurants and businesses at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 198 are scheduled to be demolished this fall to make way for a Walgreens store.

A looming Walgreens development along Route 1 in Laurel will mean the closing of at least two popular restaurant locations and other businesses as early as November.

According to the Laurel Department of Community Planning and Business Services, construction is slated to begin this year on a Walgreens store near the 600 block of 2nd Street at the Route 1 and Route 198 intersection. The site is being developed by the Ohio-based Visconsi Companies.

The store’s construction would mean the demolition of the buildings that house the Irene’s Restaurant, Mango’s Grill, an Ace Cash Express store and a multistory office building. All businesses were told by the city they would have to relocate no later than late October.

Karl Brendle, director of Community Planning, told Laurel Patch that the city has reached out to the businesses to offer vacant spaces for them to relocate. So far only Mango's Grill has responded to the city's offer, Brendle said. The Ace Cash Express store is slated to move south along Route 1 near the Laurel Lakes area.

News of the closure of the restaurants' current locations was met with shock and disappointment by patrons.

Anne McCrea of Ellicot City, eating lunch with a friend last week at Mango’s Grill, said she’s been going to the restaurant for six years and had no idea it was closing.

“I don’t want the restaurant to move,” she said.

Ana Gladys Figueredo, owner of Mango’s, said she’s been in that location for seven years. She said she also didn’t want to move but was confident her restaurant's reputation for good food would mean her customers would find her elsewhere in the city—though she has not decided on a location.

Mango’s and Irene’s, both Spanish eateries, have remained popular attractions, with crowds converging on the Mango’s small space on weekends.

Figueredo confirmed that she and the other storeowners were given as late as October to vacate before the demolition.

“I’m very sad,” she said. “There is nothing we can do about it. I didn’t expect this to happen so soon."

The Walgreens store would sit two blocks from a 24-hour CVS drug store. Brendle said the city can’t tell developers what to build or where if they are in the correct zoning area. The city’s Planning Commission, however, did weigh in on the building’s design and was able to negotiate with the developer for a brick façade, among other features.

Plans will be shown at the commission's Sept. 12 meeting in the Laurel Municipal Center.

Messages left for Irene's Restaurant owners were not immediately returned.

Patricia Briggs August 02, 2011 at 03:02 PM
I love mangos too, what this city doesn't need is a walgreens I'll never shop there.
Peter Lewnes August 02, 2011 at 06:23 PM
So sad! Did the City ever notify the current tenants that there may have been plans in the works for developemnet of the property? Let me get this right. Tennant for over 6 years and you now have 90 days to vacate! HOW NICE! Can you tell me how or why we need another pharmacy (4 within 4 blocks of each other) 2-CVS, Giant and now Walgreens? Whats the Planning Commission get out of this? Sounds as if the CITY want's it, we will get it or just TAKE it!
Joshua Garner (Editor) August 03, 2011 at 02:32 AM
According to the tenants, they were aware the city has been working with a developer, but the process had been moving slowly, which is why the Mango's owner said she was surprised it finally happened.
Margot Woods September 15, 2011 at 02:38 PM
Isn't it just wonderful, not! Yet another group of small LOCAL businesses out of business to make room for yet more large chains, this time Walgreens. Thanks, but no thanks, I'll continue to struggle to find LOCALLY owned and managed businesses to take my business to and when I can't find a local business right here in Laurel, well then, I'll just let my fingers do the shopping via my computer keyboard and the dollars that really should stay in Laurel will fly away.
Joseph Tubiolo October 27, 2011 at 12:00 PM
If anyone has been watching the news lately they would know that walgreens is not an employee friendly environment. A new walgreens was built near my home in Columbia and I refuse to spend there and the people of Laurel should do the same. How many pharmacys does Laurel need? My guess is Walgreens has become a political contributer to get their way. Stay away Laurel.
Danny October 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM
how does walgreens compare as an employer to irene’s restaurant, mango’s grill, and ace cash express?
tanisha October 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Economic Development according to Moe.
Sam from Laurel October 30, 2011 at 01:40 PM
I'm with you Margot, but it is a struggle.
oldtwnlaurel October 30, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Apparently "economic development according to tanisha" is allowing that retched blue office building to continue to rot and collapse. I don't much care for this either, but to complain that there are empty buildings and that the city looks bad and THEN complain when the situation changes, is silly. I like Mangos and will continue to go there after it moves. I'm not attached to it's location for my loyalty. It is the ACE, a business I have grown to depend upon, that I wish would move - but it's corporate office continues to drag its feet according to the employees.
real-old-town-laurel October 31, 2011 at 03:06 AM
this is what you get with crag moe, that blue office building could have housed jobs not more drugs... even peter agrees moe goofed on this nonsense..... way to go peter, I'm starting to like you...
Peter Lewnes October 31, 2011 at 08:27 AM
HEY Rousseau, I retracted my thoughts on this LONG ago after I heard ALL the facts about the new tennant and that the Mayor & City Council was indeed helping the current tennants relocate. That building couldnt have housed ANYTHING! Its a DUMP and has been a longtime eyesore! Your comment here is NOTHING but a LAST DITCH effort to try to do ANYTHING to save face! Its NOT to LATE to QUIT! Mayor Moe and the City Council have MY vote! NO PINNOCCHIO / ROUSSEAU I look forward to seeing Public Works remove ALL the TRASH (your signs) on Wednesday!
grouchypuppy January 18, 2012 at 07:13 AM
We are now into the new year and the mangos, ace and irenes remain. Unfortunately, so does that ugly blue vacant building. Is this ever going to happen?
karen davis March 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I hate to see businesses close but as NY area transplant to this area I've been waiting for both Walgreens and Shoprite to penetrate this area for a while. Now both retailers have. Walgreens' competitive prices will blow CVS out of the water. Especially around holiday time. Can't wait until it opens!!
Craig Stevens March 31, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Have you ever used the CVS near that site? It is a complete joke. Ther service there SUCKS! Lines, slow moving lines all the time. I was just at their pharmacy 2 days ago. 8 people working behind the prescription counter and only 1 person waiting on customers. My wait time on line? 20 minutes. I think the Walgreens competition is welcome. Bring it on!

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