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Walgreens has more than 7,500 stores throughout the U.S. And a spokeswoman for the Deerfield-based company says none of them are quite like the one that opened at the southwest corner of Madison and Oak Park Avenue on Monday.
The drugstore just finished moving one of its locations a few blocks east to 801-811 Madison. They've preserved the façade of the 1920s-era Collins building, and have added a drive-thru to help bolster their pharmacy business.
But what truly makes the store unique, says spokeswoman Vivika Vergara, is that it is warmed by geo-thermal energy, which comes from heat in the center of the earth, a renewable energy source.
"Obviously people can't go underground" to see the system in action, but Vergara says a kiosk set up there will show customers how much energy is being saved. Walgreens estimates that the geo-thermal system will save the company about 46 percent in energy costs.
The new Walgreens has other green features. Sinks are made from recycled materials, and the floors are, too. An abundance of windows in the storefront lets them light the space naturally during the day.
But why innovate at this specific location? Vergara said Oak Park has changed its ordinances to encourage the use of geo-thermal heating, and the village has set an example in using green building practices.
"Oak Park is always actively encouraging residents there to be clean, green and sustainable," she said. "This is a great place to try it."
Meanwhile, according to a village official, a dollar store is taking over the old space at 916 Madison.
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