Plans to bring the country’s second largest pharmacy chain to Fayetteville took another step forward last week.
Signs at the shuttered Days Inn motel were replaced with “CVS Pharmacy Coming Soon” signboards at the northeast corner of College Avenue and Township Street.
Planning Commissioners approved plans for the 13,225-square-foot drug store in July 2013. As part of the project, CVS has agreed to build new sidewalks with 10-15 feet of trees and landscaping along College and Township, and remove an unsightly retaining wall at the south end of the property.
The site is across College Avenue from a Walgreens store. While Walgreens is the largest pharmacy chain in the country with more than 8,000 locations, CVS is a relatively close second, with more than 7,000 stores nationwide.
The Fayetteville location is one of at least three CVS pharmacies coming to Northwest Arkansas. A location is scheduled to open in Bella Vista this fall, and plans for a Springdale store are set to be discussed by planners in March.
The new stores mark the beginning of what could become a statewide war with Walgreens, which operates 78 locations in Arkansas, including five (soon to be six) retail pharmacies in Fayetteville.
CVS currently operates only one store in Arkansas on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, according to the company’s online store locator. Once built, the three regional stores would join two other Arkansas pharmacies in development in Sherwood and Van Buren.
Once complete, the Fayetteville CVS will mark the end of a complete transformation of the College-Township intersection, which began 14 years ago when Walgreens opened a 15,000-square-foot pharmacy on the northwest corner where a Nelms Chevrolet car dealership had been.
Kum & Go opened a 10-pump fuel station on the southeast corner in 2011, replacing a vacant restaurant building along with Bill & Tony’s Liquor Store and Tabriz Auto.
Arvest Bank recently opened a six-lane drive-through bank branch at the southwest corner, where a vacant car lot had sat for years.