Hazel Park set to start $3 million makeover, demolish long vacant CVS

It's been ten long years since CVS closed up a pharmacy in Hazel Park but the building is still standing. Now the city is about to spend $3 million on new construction, which includes demolishing the old building. 

"It's a wart, cancer, tumor, boil - call it whatever you want. It's disgusting," said Hazel Park City Manager Edward Klobucher.

Klobucher, and others, have been forced to look at the old CVS for more than a decade. Now he's giddy to say goodbye.

"I'm excited to get rid of this thing. I'm excited that this giant wart on the city of Hazel Park is going to be demolished and we're going to replace it with something nice for our residents," Klobucher said.

He could barely contain his excitement Tuesday after learning the city's downtown will soon be growing and the old CVS would be going. 

"It's a nightmare. So we're glad to see it go and replace with something with some character and will add some value of the city of Hazel Park," he said.

The plan for the city's well-known "wart" on John R near Woodward Heights is a mixed use apartment building with 33 units and roughly 14,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor.

The project, at a cost of about $3.2 million, will also be widening sidewalks along John R and adding parking and bike lanes.

Klobucher said the pharmacy prevented this from being done earlier.

"CVS held on this building and sat on this building for nine of those ten years. They had some very restricted covenants in there with respect to what the building could be used for so it didn't compete with any of the existing businesses in Hazel Park."

The owner and proud chef of at Mabel Gray's right across the street, James Rigato, says he'll be more than happy to meet his new neighbors.

"It's an eyesore I'm excited to get rid of it," he said. "It's been a really great few years and Hazel Park's really investing in the businesses and the overall walkability. It's a good time to be in Hazel park."

Klobucher says work will begin this construction season and should be competed in the Fall of 2020.