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CHICAGO-Construction is now underway for three new CVS pharmacies in west and southwest suburban Chicago as the Rhode Island-based drug store pushing ahead with its Midwest expansion plans. The program pushes on apparently in the face of economic uncertainty and stiff competition from the Chicago area’s leading pharmacy, Walgreen’s.

The new stores will be in west suburban Downers Grove; Elmhurst; and Joliet, in the southwestern part of the metro area. These three are in addition to one in north suburban Buffalo Grove announced late in the summer, and a second Downtown location recently unveiled. Gershman Brown & Associates is the developer of the west and southwestern stores, with Graycor as the general contractor.

The Elmhurst pharmacy, at North Avenue and York Road, comprises a 12,000-sf pharmacy and 8,000 sf of rentable space for additional tenants. The Downers Grove store, at Fairview and Ogden avenues, and the Joliet facility, at US Route 30 and North Raymor Avenue, each totals 10,880 sf. Scheduled for a 2001 completion, all three stores feature a full-service pharmacy with drive-through window access, photo lab and food mart.

CVS entered the Midwestern market in 1998. Currently, it has about 3,100 stores nationwide and revenues of more than $20 billion annually.

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