A CVS Health pharmacy store destroyed during civil unrest and rioting in Baltimore last week will be rebuilt, a store spokeswoman and the city’s development corporation confirmed to the Baltimore Sun on Monday night. Looted and burned by riots that followed peaceful protests over the police-involved death of Freddie Gray, the CVS store at Pennsylvania and North avenues was one of more than 235 city businesses to suffer severe damage and losses, said William H. Cole IV, president of the Baltimore Development Corp.
Of the five Baltimore CVS stores that were damaged over a nearly two-week span, the parent company committed Monday to reopening all of them, Cole said. The city has also launched a website designed to help other affected small businesses reopen.
"We have a long history of serving inner-city communities and are 100 percent committed to serving our patients and customers in Baltimore," said Carolyn Castel, a CVS spokeswoman. "We are working diligently to formulate our rebuilding plans."
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Last week, Haywood McMorris, an African-American manager of the burned CVS Health store, said residents in the neighborhood surrounding the store were “really appalled and hurt by the situation.” He said users of a senior center located behind the CVS had relied on the pharmacy for prescriptions.
Much of the damage from the April 27 and 28 riots was done in the Penn North area of the city. But the Mount Vernon area, into downtown, and the Pigtown, Highlandtown and Hamilton neighborhoods also suffered damage.
City leaders had asked business owners with damaged property to enter contact information on the new website, BaltimoreBusinessRecovery.org. The site, which went live last week, was designed to connect businesses to city, state and federal resources. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked city agencies to expedite permitting for businesses affected by last week’s violence, the Sun reported.
Fees will be waived on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether insurance will cover the cost, said Colin Tarbert, Baltimore’s deputy mayor for economic and neighborhood development.
Looters caused an estimated $175,000 in damage at one city shoestore. They stole sneakers, smashed computers and video systems, and destroyed other parts of the store, Mario Diaz, owner of Sneaky Feet on Eastern Avenue in the Highlandtown neighborhood, told the Sun. Nick's Rotisserie on Washington Boulevard suffered between $8,000 and $10,000 in damage. On April 28, the restaurant was vandalized, and food and a cash register were stolen, owner Romano Fennoy said. Diaz and Fennoy said they expected insurance to cover some but not all of the cost of the damage.