A New CVS Coming to … Watertown

CVS Pharmacy, the Woonsocket, RI-based nationwide drug store chain, has announced it will be opening a new store they see serving the retail and pharmacy needs of a good portion of Belmont residents.

But the second largest US pharmacy concern will be locating its newest store across the border in Watertown, on Mt. Auburn Street, not in the Town of Homes.

The announcement made on the Watertown News website will please Belmont residents in the southeastern part of town (precincts 6 and 7) who have store located at the corner of Mt. Auburn and Arlington streets, across from the Tufts Health Plan offices. Watertown’s Arlington Street intersects with Belmont Street at Grove Street.

The new store will be 14,000 sq.-ft. with approximately 70 parking spaces, replacing a gas station, the city’s Elks Club and another commercial building.

How the new Watertown store will affect the long-standing rumor of CVS looking to move from its current cramped location at 60 Leonard St. – the store has a total of 8,000 sq.-ft. with a smaller retail footprint – to a larger outcrop in the former Macy’s site at 75 Leonard St. remains up in the air.

After serving Belmont for more than 70 years, first as a Filene’s and later Macy’s, the department store closed in January 2013. Somerville-based Locatelli Realty Trust owns the Macy’s site as well as a good portion of eastern Leonard Street.

A second Belmont CVS is located at 264 Trapelo Rd. between Cushing and Central squares.

Under CVS criteria for new stores, the company requires locations to be free-standing sites with the store being roughly 100 by 140 feet with approximately 13,000 square feet of retail and pharmacy space. It must also be in a high traffic location, have easy access from the street for customers and have between 75 to 85 parking spaces.

The second store in Watertown – the chain has a 24-hour store in Watertown Square – will have the draw of plenty of parking spaces and easy access, both which the Belmont Center store lacks. CVS has a second 24-hour store down Concord Avenue at Fresh Pond in Cambridge.