DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. - The long-awaited and often controversial new Walgreens opened at Ashford Avenue and Broadway in Dobbs Ferry last week with the pharmacy scheduled to open Friday.
Residents argued whether the village should allow the construction of the large, two-story brick building where a one-story retail building, which housed a deli and restaurant, once stood.
Seventy percent of those who voted in a Daily Voice poll in May said they thought the building was too large for the neighborhood.
Dobbs Ferry resident Tracey Shemonoski and her young sons Jack and Sawyer were shopping at Walgreens Thursday morning.
"I don't think the store is too big at all- and the location is great for us," Shemonoski said. "I normally go to Rite Aid. This store is convenient for us. I think it's a good fit (for the village).
The Walgreens building was designed to match the existing neighboring architecture directly across on Ashford Avenue where two brick buildings and a bank are located. Walgreens is bordered by a gas station and the Dobbs Ferry Diner.
Some argued that the new business added congestion to the already busy intersection that leads into the village's business district.
Robert Evans of Tarrytown said he has watched the construction of the Walgreens and thought it was too large at first.
"I drive through Dobbs Ferry on my way to work in Yonkers and stopped (Wedneasday) to get a bottle of water and check the place out," Evans said. "My only concern with these box stores is that they take business away from the small pharmacies and mom and pop stores. Otherwise, the store looks nicer than the Walgreens in Yonkers."
Walgreens occupies the first floor on street level and includes an adjacent parking lot and new sidewalk along Ashford Avenue and office space on the second floor. The nearest Walgreens is about 10 minutes away in Yonkers. There is a CVS in nearby Ardsley.
Walgreens staffers, who said they could not be quoted by name, said they were were from nearby Yonkers, Tarrytown and Orange County.
Reaction on Rivertowns Daily Voice Facebook page included comments by the following Daily Voice readers
"Totally saddened by the sight of it....the first step towards losing the charm of Dobbs Ferry, " Sheila Noonan-Gorham said.
"I love Dobbs, but I must ask for the definition of "Charm"? A building, a field or a business doesn't make the town the people in it do," John Tacij said. "Our surroundings are changing but that's what they do and that's why we look at pictures from the past but your house , your friends house and even our schools that we enjoy now are built on land that I bet 70 years or so so people protested them being built. We are Dobbs ferry's charm (the people) not the landscape."
The Dobbs Ferry Walgreens store hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.