Editorial: No to Crosspoint

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A friend saw my "No CVS" mailbox sign and asked "Where do you get your prescriptions filled?" "CVS!" I replied. A case of gotcha? Not at all. Since the day we were all shocked to learn that the new owner of the Colella's building had chosen CVS as a replacement, I have happily shared these three key points:

1 - I am not ANTI-CVS
2 - I am not PRO Hopkinton Drug
3 - I am ANTI-Crosspoint selecting CVS as the tenant of Hopkinton's landmark downtown building.

To revisit how we got here....
The Danahys did what was best for their family and sold Colella's. They chose to keep their intentions quiet, which limited opportunities for the town government, loyal patrons or others to get involved in exploring all potential options. They are entitled to do that and we are entitled to be devastated.

Crosspoint Associates entered as the buyer and did what was best for their business. They chose not to seek community or town government input and signed a lease with a tenant that got them the largest potential financial return on their investment. Crosspoint admittedly did not anticipate the intense backlash regarding their tenant choice, since they primarily open strip malls that are not in historic districts.

A group of concerned citizens chose to do something -- not for family or business interests, but for the town that is about to celebrate a 300th birthday. They found a legitimate town bylaw that should prevent CVS Health from being a downtown business district tenant. The bylaw states that establishments dispensing health services for health maintenance and the outpatient diagnosis and treatment of medical, dental and physical conditions are not permitted.

Guess what company tops the Fortune Magazine list as the nation's biggest healthcare company? Not Johnson & Johnson, not UnitedHealth. CVS Health is #1. Importantly, CVS does not even appear on Fortune's biggest retailer list! Crosspoint is so worried about this fact they have embarked on a full blown PR campaign (orchestrated by someone who has family in Hopkinton who do a lot of good) and they have also, in my opinion, employed numerous disingenuous tactics.

It is understandable that members of the town's Planning Department may not have been aware of the dramatic shift in CVS' business. On September 9th at 7:15 p.m. the Zoning Board of Appeals has a chance to make it right. They will hear from an experienced attorney who has represented other towns who are working to uphold the integrity of their bylaws.

Hopkinton has gotten a glimpse of what the right type of development can bring to downtown with the opening of Yogurt Beach -- creating energy and a sense of community that has been missing since Colella's closed. The soon-to-be-erected building next to 36 Main Street will likely continue that positive trend....creating a halo effect for other current and prospective businesses in this district.

If a CVS opens at 61 Main Street it will be a major, irreversible step in the wrong direction for our collective community. It's not about being anti-CVS -- it's about using our bylaws to protect a town landmark that will continue to define the character of Hopkinton.

Karen O'Neil