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Walgreens, apartments planned for former Sentry site

The University Square Sentry Foods store at 2938 N. Oakland Ave. is closing, marking Friday, June 30 as its last sale date.

Property owner Ted Balistreri is working with developer Blair Williams of Winder Real Estate to redevelop the site, along with the vacant neighboring site at 2914 N. Oakland Ave., says East Side B.I.D. No. 20 executive director Jim Plaisted.

"When Ben Franklin closed, Ted's original plan was to expand Sentry into that space," he says. "When that idea was shot down about two years ago, he started looking around for other options."

Balistreri's plan includes relocating the Walgreens at 2830 N. Oakland Ave. into a newly constructed building at the former Sentry site, and creating three floors of apartments above it. Plaisted says the apartments will be unique, modern and targeted toward students. The projected goal for this development is to be open in August 2007.

"We see this as good news for the neighborhood," he says. "We've been long frustrated by the vacancy, and new, modern buildings will do a lot of good for cleaning up the look of the neighborhood."

As part of the move, Balistreri gains ownership of the current Walgreens property and Plaisted says that they are considering small food store options for the space.

"We understand the strain of removing a grocery store from the area and we're looking into what might work for that neighborhood."

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