Developer confirms CVS coming to Central and Oliver

UPDATED — Developer Christian Ablah now confirms what planning documents showed this summer:

A CVS store is coming to the northeast corner of Central and Oliver. Ablah and his father, Don, of Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

CVS representatives have yet to confirm that the Rhode Island-based chain of pharmacies is entering the market, but construction already has begun on one of the stores at the southwest corner of 13th and Maize Road.

A CVS also is coming to the northwest corner of 21st and Amidon.

The same planning documents that show replatting for the store at Central and Oliver also show that one is in the works at the southwest corner of Harry and Hillside.

The former Rossiter liquor store will be torn down to make room for the CVS at Central and Oliver, which will also be on property where a bingo parlor used to be. Ablah says that corner, which he says is one of the main ones in College Hill, has been popular through the years with businesses such as the Tower Theater.

“I grew up in College Hill,” Ablah says. “College Hill is my favorite neighborhood in Wichita. I’m very excited to see a great national retailer choose this site. … Other national retailers that we’re talking to will understand what CVS has understood. That this is just a great corner with fantastic density (and) and great incomes.”

Rick Putnam and his family are partners in the deal.

His grandfather, Jesse Graham, began developing houses in the Central and Oliver to 15th and Oliver area in 1949.

“He kept the corner,” Putnam says.

Someone else put in the theater. The first business Graham lured to the corner was an ice cream parlor where Rossiter eventually located.

For a time, there had been a street that dissected the corner.

“I never could figure out what he was doing when he did that,” Putnam says.

He now handles the land for his mother, Janyce Putnam, who lives in College Hill.

Rick Putnam says CVS is a win for that area.

“It’s huge for that College Hill area,” he says. “It’s going to be a nice anchor for a whole development in through there.”

Ablah also is working on redeveloping about three acres on the southeast corner of the intersection, starting where the former Dillons store is.

“We’re still working on a very exciting development.”

He expects work to start on the CVS in the next couple of weeks.

There’s still room for a couple of approximately 3,500-square-foot buildings for retail or restaurants near the corner as well.

Putnam says 1949 is a long time ago, but he thinks his grandfather would approve of today’s plans.

“He’d probably like it.”