Rumors surrounding the fate of beloved Pleasant Ridge small businesses including Everybody’s Records and Gas Light Café have been bubbling as of late, ignited by claims that drugstore chain Walgreens has expressed interest in purchasing the property in favor of demolishing the existing architecture to make way for a new, deluxe Walgreens location.
Everybody’s Records, the small, independent record store on the corner of Montgomery Road and Ridge Avenue, has called the block home since opening in 1978. The Gas Light Café has been at its Pleasant Ridge location since 1989.
The effort is spearheaded by Anchor Properties, a Covington-based commercial real estate developer that’s done development work for Walgreens in the past.
Pleasant Ridge is one of only five city-designated community entertainment districts in the city of Cincinnati, a catalyst that’s helped revitalized the area’s business district since its December 2010 designation.
Both Everybody’s and Gas Light Café rent property from landlords, who would have the ultimate say over whether or not to accept a buyout offer from Walgreens.
On Friday, June 15, the Cincinnati City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the recommendation of establishing an Interim Development Control (IDC) Overlay District in Pleasant Ridge, which would require any plans for construction, demolition or changes in zoning, such as a Walgreens drive thru, to be first approved by commission.According to Charles Graves, director of Cincinnati’s Department of City Planning and Buildings, that approval is not something he’s inclined to give; “We’re trying to preserve the walkable, historic Main Street nature of that neighborhood,” Graves says.