Dollar Tree coming to former Rite Aid building at Platte and Circle in Colorado Springs

Dollar Tree stores seem to grow on trees; the "everything’s $1" retailer has 16 locations in Colorado Springs and around the Pikes Peak region, the chain’s website shows.

One of Dollar Tree’s newest stores, however, will do more than just provide another outlet for discount groceries, health and beauty supplies, household goods and other items. It will help spruce up a tired intersection in the heart of Colorado Springs.

Dollar Tree, based in Chesapeake, Va., has signed a lease to open at the northwest corner of Platte Avenue and Circle Drive. The store will take over a long vacant, roughly 13,200-square-foot building that housed a Rite Aid pharmacy years ago.

The building’s remodeling is underway and a "Dollar Tree Coming Soon!" banner hangs outside the entrance; it’s unknown when the store will open.

Land records show Rite Aid constructed the building in 1999 when the chain entered the Springs market with four stores to challenge Walgreens and other pharmacies.

Rite Aid, however, pulled out of the area within just two years. The building later became a Salvation Army thrift store, but has been a vacant eyesore for some time.

Patrick Kerscher, a broker with the Springs office of national real estate firm CBRE who marketed the building, said Dollar Tree will be a good addition for Platte and Circle.

The heavily trafficked intersection is part of the Knob Hill neighborhood in an older part of town. The area includes the Platte corridor that’s home to several used car lots, bars, small motels and pawnshops.

"It’s a great thing for the corner," Kerscher said. "It will be a good addition to the market."

Dollar Tree won’t be the only new addition to the Platte-and-Circle intersection.

CVS, the Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain, has purchased the Tower Plaza retail center on the intersection’s southeast corner. CVS plans to construct a 12,900-square-foot store, and several of the buildings on site will either be torn down or moved.

"CVS going catty-corner doesn’t hurt," Kerscher said of improvements to the area.

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Two popular businesses that have operated for more than 20 years southeast of Platte Avenue and Circle Drive are leaving as Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain CVS takes over the site.

Flowerama, the floral shop that’s operated at the corner for nearly 22 years, closed Friday. With CVS’ arrival, and now in their mid 60s, owners Anne and Bruce Hardy have decided to retire rather than hunt for a new location.

"It’s been 22 years and this has been an amazing corner," Anne Hardy said. "It’s very, very bittersweet. The community has been just beyond wonderful. And all the people coming in and giving us well wishes."

Some customers who visited Flowerama for the last time Friday said they’d miss the store, which became known as much for displays of plastic flamingos, geese decoys and wooden windmills in front of its building as for flowers, stuffed animals and balloons.

"I am a little said and disappointed," said Luis Ortiz of Colorado Springs. "I’ve come here probably ever since they opened for just everyday, basic flowers. For my wife, for my mom. Any type of event that was going on, this was the place I could go and just get flowers immediately…You can go to King Soopers or Walmart, but it’s still not the same."

Short Stop Deluxe Burgers, meanwhile, will move to the Powers Center retail center, southeast of Powers and Palmer Park boulevards, said Short Stop owner Ted Vong. He hopes to complete the move by the end of October.

Short Stop has operated at Platte and Circle for 25 years; Vong owns his building, but leases the ground underneath. Vong plans to move his building to ground he’s leasing in the Powers Center parking lot, where he’ll set up shop behind a Pizza Hut.

CVS has purchased the Tower Plaza retail center at the southeast corner of Platte and Circle; the chain plans to raze several buildings on site and construct a store. CVS opened its first location this year at Woodmen Road and Rangewood Drive in northern Colorado Springs. CVS also plans a store at Academy Boulevard and North Carefree Circle on the northeast side.

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