By Dan Haley
The Walgreens store at Harlem and North in Elmwood Park will be demolished and rebuilt starting this summer according to a Pioneer Press report. Also being demolished and rebuilt will be the adjacent First Merit Bank branch.
The Walgreens on the site dates to 1959 and is significantly out of date by the modern standards of the pharmacy chain. The new store will be roughly 14,800 square feet and set back on the corner lot. It will allow space for a pharmacy drive-thru.
First Merit will return with a much smaller footprint which will include drive-thru lanes. The bank site was once home to the headquarters of Midwest Bank, which is why the current location is so large.
Pioneer Press reports that Walgreens will open a temporary pharmacy in the adjacent strip mall during construction.
Persistent rumors that a Mariano's grocery store will wind up on the opposite corner of North and Harlem — on or in the site of the current Sears store — got a boost in the Pioneer Press coverage with a quote from Elmwood Park Village President Skip Saviano. He said, "It's great. You got Mariano's going in across the street and we're going to capitalize on that."