City Government

GUEST OPINION: Oppose CVS At 16th And State

By Stephen C. Fischer
It’s a longshot, but a grassroots effort of average citizens in Boise is taking on the big corporation of CVS Pharmacy and their plans to build a 15,000-foot store at State and 16th – with a petition that has garnered more than 300 signatures in its first week.
This proposed CVS would be an oversized eyesore with lots of unsightly asphalt for 48 spaces of parking. It would demolish the artsy Arcade building, along with three vintage homes on Jefferson Street. Also, there are already at least three pharmacies in the immediate area.

This big and boxy monstrosity of traffic and smog and noise would intrude against a cherished historic neighborhood at the gateway to downtown Boise – the type of project that threatens Boise at its core, its heart, and so is a danger to all the Treasure Valley.

As the number of signatures to the petition soars, CVS ignores it at the peril of a boycott of not only this store, but its other stores. Any local government officials ignore us at the peril of losing our votes.

This is a scrappy rally of regular residents who are trying to save our uniquely lovely and livable hometown from being demolished into a bland and boring version of urban sprawl and congestion, concrete and asphalt, neon and noise.

In the words of one commenter on the petition site, we don’t want Boise to become Everywhere Else, USA.

This effort to block CVS at State and 16th seems to be a last stand to save Boise, to preserve its special character from a crass commercialization that seems to be sweeping across America — devastating the ambience of attractive cities and robbing them of their individual identities.

At present, Boise seems beset by a tidal wave of proposed developments that threaten to overwhelm us with a demolition of beauty and a leveling of local character, reducing our surroundings into a bland and boring monotony.

A new and excellent resource named Vanishing Boise is chronicling the startling and sad degradation that awaits us in Boise if we don’t put up a strong and determined resistance right away.

If we turn back CVS to more suitable locations in our area, we will have won a great victory that could give us the momentum to stop other projects that are a looming danger to our precious but precarious quality of life.

As Homer Simpson says while driving down a typical American roadway of chain stores and fast-food franchises, “Ah, the Miracle Mile [or State Street heading west from downtown Boise]. Where value wears a neon sombrero and there’s not a single church or library to offend the eye.”

Let’s not let Boise succumb to this kind of joke, this defacement and defilement that benefits only a tiny few elitists of power and wealth, to the detriment of the common person.

Keep Boise Unique!!! Please join us:

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Kent Goldthorpe
    Oct 28, 2017, 7:21 am

    I’ll spare the excess of words about dealing with peppery rights.
    NIMBY is all I’ll say.

  2. I’m against big corporations but for gentrification. It’s renewal of old and often run down houses and areas. Having another pharmacy there should increase competition and lower prices. State street is also a main artery – good for businesses but bad for housing.

  3. You can swing a dead cat and hit 6 Rite-Aids, Walgreens, or Primary Health buildings.

    I understand the quickly deteriorating health of American citizens as a whole and a need for convenience – but I don’t thing we need these businesses on EVERY corner at the determent of our neighborhoods.

    I for one agree that a little more restraint should be offered up by the authorities that are rubber-stamping approval for these projects.

  4. CVS could take the failed grocery store in Meridian. What was it called? Big and empty. Only lasted a few years.

    CVS is gunning for the Rite Aid in that area. Sad.

  5. I think it high time to embrace NIMBYism — after all, every real fight starts with something close to home and heart. That is the source of true grassroots power, and maybe one of the only forces that unites us across the cultural divide rather than further polarizes us.
    The problem with us Nimbys is when we don’t extend the same concern to those across the tracks or the other side of the airport. The further away a problem, the less we care of course — human nature. Maybe that should be the operational definition of when a city has become too large — when one neighborhood really doesn’t care what happens in another. And a good reason for not growing Boise into another Anywhere Else.

  6. I agree the renderings of the proposed CVS are grotesquely ugly. But no more than Dutch Bros at 15th and State.

    And I’d like to point out 2 of the 3 properties on Jefferson are already used as offices, they are not homes. Presumably the 3rd owner has an agreement to sell because it’s hard to believe CVS would bother without it.

    The sad but true reality is properties like that have become so expensive that few families or average people can afford to buy one. I’ve seen this time and again in the area, sold properties become investments for out of town speculators and then become rentals or AirBNBs. The rest of the area is already a shopping district for the arguably underserved north and west ends. The fact there’s other pharmacies is irrelevant.

    I’m not sure about the Arcade Apartments, I’ve never been in one or talked to any residents. I know one thing, they don’t have the required parking.

    If you want to protest then protest the deplorable weedy and vacant lots of the old Salvation Army at 19th and Jefferson and the other one between 17th and 18th.

    Protest the city trying to cram all the homeless in one area of town just down the street from the CVS.

    Rally for a park strip makeover on 15th in front of Dutch Bros. I cringe every time I drive by there. ACHD is spending millions in the suburbs but they can’t fix that broken old curb?

    Rally to prevent museums like the Sturiale Place in a residential areas. It only restricts supply and boosts demand. And if we’re going to keep the riff raff out by building museum pieces then why the sudden change to housing projects just down the street?

  7. Thank you Mr. Fisher. Well said.

  8. Addictions to pills
    Oct 28, 2017, 11:07 am

    Boise women like their pills. Not a chance you’ll stop it.

    Unconstitutional to stop it as well and would result in the City losing lawsuit. See what happened to Boise County when the dopes on the commission refused a rehab center.

    Meanwhile they will soon be crushed by Amazon. The building will become an Amazon neighborhood distribution point in a few years.

  9. Its a CVS, not a nuclear power plant.

  10. The American Dream
    Oct 28, 2017, 8:07 pm

    GIANT box stores full of cheap Chinese junk covered in lead is living da dream!

  11. OMG. I grew up in the North end. I know that Churches were destroyed to make way for the YMCA. I know that Albertsons used to be on State Street @ 16th. I know that Boise High School had no grass field or tennis courts. Maybe we should regress to a Boise of 33,000.

    Progress moves on. If you don’t like the way your neighborhood is moving, move. You are not a tree.

  12. I am against CVS at the proposed State St. location. And no, I don’t live in the immediate area and am not a nimby.

  13. Jim, You are nostalgic to the point of senility.

  14. Stephen C. Fischer
    Oct 29, 2017, 9:29 pm

    Well, there are indeed other parking lots near State and 16th, as well as other buildings of less than stellar architectural artistry — so maybe we should just let the developers trash the place, allowing no limits to the intrusion of more uglification.
    Instead of a CVS, why not a Wal-Mart? While we’re about to knock down three vintage homes, why not make it 30? And let’s keep paving for parking spaces with truckload after truckload after truckload of rich and aromatic asphalt in all of its aesthetic appeal.
    The resistance has to start somewhere. If we can’t stop this egregious affront to proportion and good taste, this big and boxy monstrosity, then maybe we should just give up on preserving Boise at all.
    Maybe this petition will win, and maybe it will lose. However, it would be sad if the regular residents of Boise didn’t at least put up a determined last stand.
    While some people are feeling good about themselves with supposedly sophisticated remarks of skepticism, others are sincerely putting their names on record as opponents of the degradation of Boise.
    I’m glad to stand with regular residents in this scrappy but noble quest to keep Boise unique, even at the risk of being quixotic.
    I welcome the skeptics to reconsider, and to join us.

  15. Thank you Mr. Fischer for digging in and opposing the proposed CVS blight on Boise. There are so many ways in which the historic and other protections for neighborhoods that Boise citizens have come to believe are in place – are not adhered to by the P&Z and City Council.

  16. CVS made 28+ BILLION dollars of profit in 2016. They don’t need a cheap, ugly big box in downtown, and the city council has the power. What do you think will go down?

  17. CVS made $5B in profit last year, $26B was income after GOCS but before all other expenses.

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