Pharmacy may be headed to Lower Third Street

By Sherri L. Jackson

Residents, who live in the Lower Third Street Community, may not have to travel across the city to get prescription drugs if Joe Williams, owner of The Pill Box is able to work out the details.

Williams of Alexandria was one of the potential investors Mayor Jacques Roy presented at the first of three public presentations relating to the city’s Specially Planned Activity Redevelopment Corridors, or SPARC.

“There is a big need in South Alexandria,” Williams said. “I first became interested because of the (Rapides Primary Health Clinic) not having a pharmacy within it. I heard about the development , (which will bring in )  more people in need. I look forward to looking in to it.”

Retail development is one of three components of the project, with the others being residential and drainage. Roy said having a pharmacy in the community should spur commercial development in the area.

Roy said the construction of a 56-unit tax credit affordable housing development should begin in the next two months.

Barbara O’Banner, regional manager of New Horizon Group of Pearl, Miss., said in addition to the apartments, the development will include a swimming pool and club house.

The energy-efficient apartments will be available for those with incomes 60 percent or below the average median income

Provias Construction, a partner with New Horizon Group, will build the apartments.

Addressing the community’s concerns about potential drainage problems, Merrill Lawson, city planning division assistant director, said has plans for street, drainage and utility improvements for Green Oak Avenue from Third to Seventh streets.

The city has received four proposals to do the work that is estimated to be about $1.3 million.

“There should be drastic improvements to drainage,” Lawson said.

District 3 Councilman Jonathan Goins, who represents the area, said he was “excited” about the project, which is the “flagship” of SPARC.

Following the presentation, the mayor and other city officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of the historic Fire Station #4 located at the corner of Masonic and Lee streets. That  celebration included the unveiling the plans for the Masonic Drive initiatives.

At 5 p.m., the grand opening ceremonies for the Red Cross of Central Louisiana will be held at     the organization’s new location at the former Cotton Brothers Baking Co.

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