Breanne Scribner hopes to be filling prescriptions downtown again in the near future.
And Scribner has found the perfect location to do it: the former PNC Bank building at the corner of Water and Main streets. Scribner and her husband, Matt, plan to open Harbor Pharmacy either late this fall or early this winter.
Renovation work began last week in the former bank building — now called Harbor Centre — where the new pharmacy will occupy about 4,000 feet of the first floor.
The building was recently purchased by DRCG Properties, which is owned by Dana Rabon and her daughter, Carlee Goldston. They paid $700,000 for the property, according to the Pasquotank Register of Deeds office.
With its prime location downtown along with plenty of parking, Scribner described Harbor Centre as the “perfect” spot for Harbor Pharmacy.
“It’s very convenient for our Elizabeth City customers, it’s very convenient for our Camden customers since they don’t have a pharmacy in their county,” Scribner said. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to be there.”
Elizabeth City’s downtown lost its last pharmacy and Camden lost its only pharmacy last month when Todd’s Pharmacy sold its business to CVS Health. Todd also closed a second location in Elizabeth City and its Currituck location as well.
Scribner, an Elizabeth City native who was a pharmacist at Todd’s Pharmacy downtown, said she and her husband, Matt, had discussed opening their own pharmacy before Todd’s announced it was closing. They decided to take the plunge after the closing was announced to the public.
Scribner said the former PNC building is in good condition and doesn’t need much work. One project is constructing the pharmacy bay and installing the necessary shelving and countertops.
“We got in there a little over a week ago and started our remodel,” she said. “There are several things we have to do to get it pharmacy-ready, but it is not terrible.’’
One of the advantages of the former bank location is that there is already a drive-thru lane. But instead of cash, drive-up customers can pick up their prescription medications.
“There are not many places downtown with a ready-made drive-thru,” Scribner said. “It’s tube system, so we won’t hand it out the window like some other pharmacies do in town. If anything can’t fit in it, we will take it out curbside.’’
In addition to renovation work, Scribner is also in the process of going through the lengthy permitting process to open the pharmacy. That includes local, state and federal permits.
“There is a lot of permitting that goes along with opening a pharmacy,” Scribner said. “Each permit is sequential. You just can’t apply for all your permits at once, you have to do it in order.’’
Plans call for hiring an additional pharmacist, two pharmacy technicians and several retail cashiers.
Scribner has received a lot of positive feedback about the opening of the pharmacy: their Facebook page has 1,400 followers.
“People are excited that we are opening a pharmacy downtown,” Scribner said. “There are some people that are not former Todd’s customers that are excited because they feel our community needs another pharmacy.’’
Harbor Pharmacy will also sell some grocery items, grab-and-go meals and gift items.
The new pharmacy will not initially offer delivery services but Scribner said providing that service in the future is an option.
“Our focus is on getting the pharmacy open as quickly as we can to meet community demand,” Scribner said. “We do plan on revisiting delivery once we’re open and established.”