Residents split on possible new downtown Walgreens - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Residents split on possible new downtown Walgreens

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Walgreens often says they're at the corner of happy and healthy, but visitors and residents of Nashville are split on plans for a store in the heart of downtown. 

Tapping his feet downtown as a street musician for the past 16 years, 'Mandolin Mike' said his Nashville is a place with boots and guitars at every turn, and someone keeping a drum beat in nearly every window.

"Ernest Tubb's Record Shop, Jack's Bar-b-que, those are the things Nashville really means," said Mike. "This is the signature area for Nashville, and we don't want to just turn it into another strip mall. Don't turn it into another generic Anywhere, USA."

He said he just can't see the down on the corner store, Walgreens, at the corner of 3rd and Broadway.

"I don't want to see the flavor and character taken away," said Mike.

Trail West on Broadway could soon be a Walgreens depending on a development deal.

"I see enough of that happening at home, and it's a sad thing to me," said Kathleen Haasnoot of Ontario. "Cities need to keep their history."

"Visitors who are coming here are looking for these music venues, these restaurants," said Andrea Arnold of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. "It's what gives us our authenticity, our uniqueness and really what makes us distinctive in any other destination in the country. A large chain drugstore is a little scratch in the record right there."

While some don't want to see the name 'Walgreens' in the heart of Nashville's entertainment district, others argued a growing city needs it.

"They're trying to build up Nashville, so I think it would be good," said resident Mclain Ensrud. "They've got the high end hotels down here, so it'd be nice to have something convenient down here. There isn't now. Everything closes. You can make the Walgreens a country fit if that's how you want to do it."

As for Mandolin Mike, he said he'll welcome a new Walgreens a few blocks away, just not next to those famous names that define the city.

"After all, their motto is the corner of health and happiness," said Mike. "If you walk two blocks, you'll be a little healthier. Let's keep Nashville, Nashville."

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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