By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal
HOUSTON – CVS would like to build a store in Houston, and the drug store/health-care giant may put it in the middle of town.
The company has approached the city through a local real estate agent about selling the lot where City Hall now stands and turning that property – and adjacent lots – into a CVS store and parking lot.
The Houston Board of Mayor and Aldermen has directed Mayor Stacy Parker to negotiate on the city’s behalf with CVS.
Details of the deal are sketchy while the city and CVS discuss terms of a possible sale.
“We were approached and I have met with a group about this,” Parker said. “At this point nothing has been decided.”
“I do think this could be a very good thing for Houston,” he added. “I think it would bring more business to downtown. We have a lot of vacant buildings downtown and I think we all agree we need more businesses in our community.”
Some Houston residents have no problem with CVS coming to town but the think locating a store on the Courthouse Square would detract from the area.
Aldermen Frank Thomas and Barry Springer both have said the sale could be a benefit for the community, but no deal has been finalized and nothing has been signed.
“CVS would bring a lot of sales tax to the city and jobs,” Thomas said. “There are a lot of things that have to happen before we sell City Hall.”
Springer said the sale would put premium real estate back on the tax rolls.
Springer said one idea would be to take money made from the sale and purchase property somewhere else downtown to house City Hall. He said such a move would improve two blocks in downtown Houston at the same time.
Parker, Springer and Thomas said CVS has been looking at purchasing property in Houston for more than a year.
A CVS spokesman declined to talk about a potential Houston site.
“We are not able to comment as we do not confirm or discuss possible new store locations unless there is a signed agreement for a site,” said the company’s director of public relations, Mike DeAngelis, in an email.
CVS currently operates more than 7,200 stores in 41 states, including more than 40 in Mississippi.