A new Walgreens drug store eyed for the northeast corner of Cape Coral and Coronado Parkways cleared the Planning and Zoning hurdle on Wednesday when the board unanimously approved the project.
A public hearing for the project is expected to be in front of city council in two weeks.
The site is currently occupied by a Citgo gas station that fronts Cape Coral Parkway and an office building that fronts Southeast 47th Terrace. Both structures would be removed so the new Walgreens location could be built.
Planning and Zoning Commission Chairwoman Patti Martin praised the project.
"Having a new Walgreens there is really going to set a wonderful standard of development for the CRA," she said. "This is such a wonderful corner ... I think for the CRA its almost like a gateway."
The Land Development Regulations for Cape Coral's downtown Community Redevelopment Agency are being re-written by Miami-based Zyscovich Architects, the company also responsible for rewriting the CRA's long- term vision plan.
Speaking on behalf of RKM Development Corporation, the company currently developing the new Walgreens project, Joe Mazurkiewicz said the store would fall within those new regulations once completed.
"We're building to what we believe is the new vision for downtown and what the new LDRs would require," Mazurkiewicz said.
Plans for the current Walgreens location, once vacated, are unknown, according to Community Redevelopment Agency planner Patrick White.
In other Planning and Zoning action, the commission approved the expansion for the "Shops at Skyline," a planned development at the corner of Skyline Boulevard and Trafalgar Parkway.
The development is expected to have 30,000 square feet of commercial space. A soon-to-open 7/11 convenience store already has been built at the intersection. It's located across the street from Challenger Middle and Patriot Elementary Schools.
Martin said commercial development is good for Cape Coral but the neighborhood directly behind the planned development could feel some unwanted, residual effects.
Martin felt some secondary frontage was needed to help protect the adjoining neighborhood, where many homes would face the rear of the building, and the convenience store, once the project is completed.
"If a neighborhood is degraded in any way it leads to blight," she said. "We have to be very careful about that."
Commissioner Steve Cristaldi thought it was the right project for the right location in the city, as the intersection of Skyline and Trafalgar is heavily traveled.
"It is the absolute epitome of where we need this type of project," Cristaldi said. "I think this project is going to be an asset to this particular part of the community."