Walgreens is coming to Scarborough and the company could begin building as soon as early spring.

The Scarborough Planning Board Monday night unanimously approved the project after hearing revised plans from Walgreens representatives.

The Planning Board was expected to give final approval at the Dec. 8 meeting, but engineers and planners working on the project gave the board a long list of changes they made to address the board’s concerns from the October meeting.

At issue at the time was lack of a Department of Environmental Protection permit, which Walgreens received in late December.

Among the changes addressed at Monday’s meeting were closing the existing driveway on Route 114 and closing an existing driveway on Route 1. The revised plans also call for adding 50 new parking spots and sharing 20 more with existing businesses.

The plans also call for building green space over a driving aisle on the Route 1 side, preventing cars from backing into that aisle.

Board members appeared to like the changes and recommendations.

“I think it’s going to be a terrific project, and I’m all for it,” said Planning Board member Ronald Mazer.

Walgreens will build a new store in Oak Hill at the corner of routes 114 and 1 where the vacant Burger King and Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution buildings are. Walgreens will tear down both of those buildings and build a new structure that will include a grocery store, pharmacy and a photo station.

Based in Deerfield, Ill., Walgreens is one of the country’s largest pharmacy chains, with 6,941 locations in 49 states. It plans to continue expanding in Maine, where it currently has six stores.

Robert Elfinger, a Walgreens spokesman, said Walgreens looked at Scarborough for a new store because of the town’s diverse development and because of the town’s demographics.

“In general, like America, Scarborough residents are aging and the demand for prescription drugs is increasing,” he said. “We have a real estate team that hunts for locations where stores would succeed, and they are rarely ever wrong.”

Walgreens will be good for the town, said Harvey Rosenfeld, executive director and president of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp. “Scarborough is growing residentially, and we need that type of development to meet its needs,” he said.

Walgreens will also help spruce up that area of town, Scarborough Town Planner Dan Bacon had said previously. The Burger King has been vacant for nearly three years, he said. The bank recently relocated, leaving that building empty, as well.


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