The state shouldn’t be “currently” trying on the recently-closed Walgreens house in Roxbury as a possible overflow shelter for migrant households, the governor’s workplace mentioned, debunking a rumor that had been percolating in some City Hall circles.
“The former Walgreens site is not currently under consideration,” Karissa Hand, a spokesperson for Gov. Maura Healey advised the Herald.
When requested whether or not there was a contingency plan for when the overflow shelter on the Melnea A. Cass Recreational Complex reaches capability at 400 migrants, a lot of whom are making their method there from Logan International Airport, the governor’s workplace didn’t get into specifics about what different websites could possibly be used.
“We continue to evaluate other safety-net sites across the state,” Hand mentioned.
The state-owned Cass Center, tapped final week to deal with migrant households with the state’s emergency shelter system capped at 7,500 households, is scheduled to shut on May 31, per a dedication from the governor’s workplace.
The state is “working with communities small and large” to determine a brand new facility after it goes offline, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll mentioned on a WCVB program Sunday.
Mayor Michelle Wu additionally doused the hypothesis, stating that the town was in talks with the property proprietor to protect a pharmacy element to the house, in response to suggestions from the group and criticism that adopted Walgreens’ determination to shut that location in a predominantly Black and brown neighborhood.
“There’s a very strong ask from the community that that was a key way that people could fulfill their prescriptions and get the medications that they needed,” Wu advised reporters after an unrelated City Hall occasion Tuesday. “It would be great if we could identify a local business that could provide that service in that space.”
Wu mentioned that pharmacy element could possibly be realized by way of an area enterprise, partnership between companies, grocery retailer, or one other enterprise. In the meantime, the town labored with Walgreens to switch prescriptions to the chain’s Columbus Avenue retailer, and with Urban League to assist pay for transportation.
“The city continues to try to use the connections, the leverage, the communications that we have with the property owner to keep those conversations going,” Wu mentioned.
Her spokesperson added, “Various teams were involved in assessing every possible vacant building for the state’s timelines, but the focus on that Walgreens location has been ensuring there is a pharmacy and business in the space as quickly as possible.”
The property proprietor, listed as Four16 Warren Street Limited on the deed, made the previous Walgreens house out there for lease final month, in keeping with Commercial Search, which lists it as a retail, medical workplace and industrial house.
“The available space has been occupied by Walgreens for 30 years, and will be available for the very first time” on March 1, the Commercial Search itemizing reads.
JP Plunkett, a dealer with Red Dome Realty, mentioned he was “bound by confidentiality” from revealing makes use of the property proprietor is contemplating for the house, “as is always the case in commercial real estate dealings,” however did say there was “lots of interest” from “various types of users.”
“The landlord is considering numerous users,” Plunkett advised the Herald.