SOUTH LOOP — Some residents want to block plans to open a black-owned pharmacy in the South Loop, saying the business exacerbates crime and traffic.
Family Roots is proposing a $650,000 project to convert the old Potbelly’s at 1147 S. Wabash Ave into a medical clinic. Obtained key zoning approval in September However, approval from the Zoning Appeals Board is required before the transaction can go through.
According to Family Roots CEO Matt Brewer, the project will create 30 to 50 construction jobs and 30 to 45 permanent jobs.It is one of the few black-owned clinics in the city and the first in the South Loop.Another black-owned clinic, Ivy Hall Opening in Bucktown in November.
A Southside native and Harvard Business graduate, Brewer is working on the project with a team that includes Daniel Farrell, Managing Partner of Silver Star Protection Group. Farrell oversees the clinic’s security plan, which includes extensive camera surveillance and security guards.
But most residents who attended Tuesday’s community meeting were unimpressed.
Residents of the neighboring building said the store was a traffic and safety issue that has plagued the area for years, from double-parking Trader Joe’s shoppers to delivery drivers clogging the alleys behind the building. said it would only exacerbate
“Sometimes you can’t enter that alley [to shop at Trader Joe’s] because of the truck. “When I went to Trader Joe’s, I was appalled because there were six to seven cars double parked on the left side of the street, disrupting all the traffic,” he said for many years near South Side. said Rosemary Garrett, who lives in…
Neighbor Winnie Dollar launched a petition to create an ordinance to create a “restricted cannabis zone,” banning dispensaries from setting up shop in primarily residential neighborhoods. She also started a petition against Family Roots. Overall, she said she got 100 signatures for her petition.
A retired nurse told Brewer that she supports his desire to open a clinic.
“We don’t need it there. I’d love to see a clinic dedicated to helping homeless people in the area. That way we can make better use of that space,” Dollear told Block Club. .
Farrell assured residents that the clinic’s security plan would benefit their neighbors.
Farrell’s team said it would create “concentric circles of protection” to keep employees and customers safe. The lighting outside the store is sufficient to identify faces and license plate numbers. Farrell said cameras capable of facial recognition will be installed around the clinic.
“Every corner of the facility has camera angles, except for the bathroom,” says Farrell.
Customers are greeted by security guards and pharmacy employees who scan their driver’s license or state ID to verify they are over 21 years old. You can smell and see the products for sale, but you can’t touch them, Farrell said. After making a decision, the customer goes to the cashier, where he presents his identification again.
Employees are then directed to storage in a restricted-access area. There is a ‘agent in charge’ and another employee stationed there to prevent theft. Hanging out, Farrell said. Customers exit through a separate door, making it easier for security guards to monitor customer exits.
Workers with restricted access to the area will be reviewed by the Illinois Office of Specialized Regulatory Affairs, which requires fingerprinting and background checks, Farrell said.
“Inventory checks are done in the morning and evening using the state’s biotrack system, which tracks products from seed to sale. Plants planted in the ground at grow centers are tagged with RFID tags. That tag continues from the cultivation center to harvest to packaging, and the product is tracked at every stage of delivery and sale,” said Farrell.
Another part of the security plan, says Farrell, is forming partnerships with police departments and getting input from commanders and sergeants on best practices.
Despite opposition from some neighbors, Brewer hopes to be able to reach an agreement with residents.
“We have a lot of support, but not many people will be able to attend on a rainy Tuesday night. “There was clearly a misunderstanding, but I’m sure we won’t,” Brewer said. “We can work with the community to figure it out.
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