By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s been a year since the Borders bookstore closed and left vacant some prime real estate at Broad and Chestnut in Center City. Well, that space won’t be empty much longer.

Walgreens is filling 26,000 square feet on three floors.

But, it’s not just a drugstore. “It will have take-out food that would include salads, sushi, and a fresh juice bar,” says Larry Steinberg, the Fameco Real Estate broker who did the deal. “It will include a wellness centre where you can actually go and see a doctor and get a prescription.  And most likely a nail salon or a hair salon.”

It’s a Walgreens ‘flagship’ mirroring locations on Wall Street and in Chicago.

“They’re looking toward the future and this is their new concept. They believe this is the future of the pharmacy/drugstore business.”

Some neighbors were vocal about not wanting another pharmacy chain.

“I understand the sensibility to that. A lot of people would have preferred a large department store — a retail operation with apparel. That was not in the cards. Walgreens stepped up and made an aggressive move toward the space. It provides services that are not available in that immediate vicinity. It’s going to be open late. And it will serve tourists, residents, and the business community during the day.”

He says to expect a late fall opening with jobs soon up for grabs.

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