Walgreens at Ogden and Main in Downers Grove

The drive-through pharmacy window at Walgreens at Ogden Avenue and Main Street soon could be open 24 hours a day. (Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune / July 8, 2014)

Owners of a Downers Grove Walgreens received preliminary approval to keep its drive-through pharmacy window open for 24 hours.

Members of the village plan commission unanimously approved the application for the store at 1000 Ogden Avenue Monday.

The Walgreens is open 24 hours but the drive-through pharmacy window only is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Village Planner Kelley Chrisse said that staff supported the application because the Walgreens is the only 24-hour pharmacy in town and would allow the store to serve patients coming from nearby Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital during overnight hours.

Chrisse also noted that the only other all-day pharmacies in the area, in Westmont, Glen Ellyn and Villa Park, all have drive-through windows open all night.

"They're looking to modernize their operations by keeping pace with adjacent communities by having a 24-hour drive-through, as well," Chrisse told board members. "It would offer a convenient way for residents to access pharmacy services."

Chrisse also said that while the exterior layout of the building would remain the same, the store is planning a massive interior renovation scheduled to start in August that would close off access to the pharmacy from the inside. With village approval, however, customers could still access the pharmacy via the drive-through window.

Staff and Walgreens officials said that they did not anticipate a spike in traffic at the busy Ogden Avenue-Main Street intersection because they believe customers who would use the drive-through during overnight hours are people who already come to the store for walk-in service.

"The folks who go through the drive-through are the ones who are coming from Good Samaritan and might be incapacitated from getting out of their car," Pharmacy Supervisor Jim Hudson said. "They just want to go through, get their prescription as fast as possible and get home where they can recover. It's really more for the customers who have some mobility issues and can't get out of the car."

As a condition of the application, Walgreens officials must agree to update its signage to conform with village ordinance, to lower the volume of the drive-through speaker from 10 p.m. until 9 a.m., and to limit sales at the window to prescription medications and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products.

The matter will appear before the village council for final approval in August.