2003-05-23 / Front Page

Duane Reade Sign Down, But Not Out

By Howard Schwach
Duane Reade Sign Down, But Not Out

The billboard atop the new Duane Reade Pharmacy on Beach 116 Street and Beach Channel Drive, that was the genesis of a call for a community boycott of the new store as well as of a lawsuit brought by the corporation against both The Wave and local artist Patrick Clark, has been removed.

For now, that is.

"Duane Reade did get a permit to have a rooftop sign," Liz Sulik, the Executive Director of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, said. "The permit, however, calls for the sign to be redesigned, to be moved back and to be angled in the other direction."

"It had to be modified, so they took it down to redesign it," Sulik added.

There are other restrictions on the use of the sign as well, according to Sulik.

The billboard cannot be used for advertising of anything other than products that are sold in the store. This allays the fears of many in the community that the large billboard sign would be used to advertise other businesses and services.

In addition, according to Sulik, Duane Reade has promised the community that a portion of the board would be used for public service messages and that the west side of the sign would contain a large American Flag.

Sulik added that the small advertising sign that advertised local insurance and oil companies was "being removed as we speak."

The Wave called the Duane Reade public relations office for comment on the removal of the sign and to find out what was being planned for the redesigned sign, but officials at that office did not return repeated phone calls.

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