When Yale students return this fall in need of supplies for their dorm rooms, there will be an alternative to the long walk up Whalley Avenue in search of shampoo at Rite-Aid or duct tape at Shaw’s.

Currently under construction, a new Walgreens drugstore and pharmacy is scheduled to open this July on the corner of York Street and North Frontage Road near the Yale School of Medicine.

Walgreens is a national chain that sells beauty and health products, food and snacks, and cameras and film. Film development and a drive-through pharmacy will be offered at this new location, but there are no plans for it to be open 24 hours, Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin said.

Construction on York Street began in February, Polzin said. The scene is abuzz with activity as construction equipment and workers swarm the noisy plot in front of the parking garage at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Polzin said the new drugstore should attract students.

“We have lots of stores located near or in college campuses, and we do pretty well in those areas,” Polzin said.

But this new Walgreens will have to compete for student business with the Rite-Aid Express located on the corner of Church and Chapel Street in the Chapel Square Mall and the Rite-Aid located on Whalley Avenue near the Yale Bookstore. Only two other Walgreens are located in the New Haven area, at 464 Whalley Ave. and at 394 Campbell Ave. in West Haven.

The plan for the new store was approved well over a year ago, but Phillip Bolduc, New Haven’s zoning director, said the design does not exactly conform to the city’s wishes.

“To put it nicely, they have their [design] formula. They are using a suburban approach in an urban area,” Bolduc said.

Long-time residents of New Haven will remember the site as the home of the Pegnataro’s grocery store, which was built in the 1960s as part of a downtown renewal program. The store was owned for decades by Pegnataro’s, then changed hands several times until it finally closed about a year ago, said Bolduc.

For undergraduates who don’t take classes near the Medical School, the new drugstore may be too far out of their way to change their shopping routine.

“It’s too far out of the way,” David Russcol ’04. “I never go down there.”

Students find other recent retail development closer to central campus more exciting.

“I’m much happier about Gourmet Heaven,” Laura Wagner ’04 said.

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