Walgreens wants to build store at site of Jay’s Restaurant

A development group interested in bringing a pharmacy and retail chain store to the site of a longtime restaurant in Vandalia took a step toward that goal last week.

Requests for a parking variance at the corner of Eighth and Gochenour streets was approved last Wednesday by the citys Zoning Board of Adjustments.

Those requests were filed by Larry Mabry and Mike Wehrle, owners of the properties where Walgreens is working to construct a store.

Mabry is a representative of Harry Mabry Properties, which owns the land that currently houses Jays Barn Restaurant, and Wehrle and his wife, JoEllen, own the property to the south of that land that currently houses North Pointe Apartments.

A site plan submitted to the city by the Blackstone Group shows that the group wants to have parking spaces where the restaurant currently sits. The plans call for a 14,490-square-foot store to be built south of the parking area.

Joe Hurwitz of Hurwitz Enterprises in Springfield, which is representing the Blackstone Group, said on Tuesday that the group is in the process of trying to buy the properties owned by the Mabry and Wehrle families.

A timeline for the construction of a Walgreens store has yet to be determined, he said, adding that the Blackstone Group hopes to have plans better finalized within the next three months.

The owner of Jay’s Restaurant, Tammy Leidner, was unavailable for comment on the future of the business as of presstime on Wednesday.

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