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The Highlander Motel is being demolished with a CVS set to open in its place late next year

The Highlander Motel is finally coming down, with a CVS set to go up in its place.

Demolition has begun on the nearly six-decade-old, two-story motel on Wilson Blvd after it closed a year ago. The tear down is expected to be completed within the next several days, according to former owner Billy Bayne.

Video taken by a local filmmaker, below, shows a large excavator eating through the brick, siding, and metal of the old building.

Despite the motel turning into rubble, construction on the new CVS won’t actually start for a “few months” due to it being winter, a construction manager tells ARLnow. A tentative time frame for the building to be completed is mid-to-late August, but that deadline is weather-dependent.

The Atlanta-based Project Builders Inc. is the general contractor, as county permits show.

After the project is turned over to CVS, it likely will take at least a month for the store to open, notes the construction manager, putting an estimated opening date around late September.

There are currently at least three other CVS stores within about a mile of where the new one will be constructed, including locations in Clarendon and Ballston.

The plan to demolish Highlander Motel and replace it with a CVS has been in place since at least 2016, with permit applications being filed two years ago. Bayne still owns the land at 3336 Wilson Blvd and is leasing it to CVS.

As for the Highlander, Bayne admits watching it be demolished does conjure up emotions.

“I grew up running around there,” Bayne says. “Eating [Mario’s] pizza with Lefty and Joe, my father playing cards, the [Boozefighters’] big party every year. Lots of good memories there.”

But it’s time for it to go, Bayne says. The motel was struggling to stay afloat and had overstayed its usefulness, he says.

“My father would be happy since [leasing the property] is going to help out his children and grandchildren,” Bayne says, “Plus, having a CVS there is good for the neighborhood.”

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