Spokane Journal of Business

First of likely new stores for Rite Aid under way

Drug-store chain to occupy outlet at Sprague-Sullivan

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Rite Aid Corp., the Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug-store chain, is having a store constructed at the northwest corner of Sprague Avenue and Sullivan Road in the Spokane Valley and plans to open one of its drug stores there in August.

The planned store is one of perhaps several new stores the big chain, which recently acquired the PayLess drug-store chain, hopes to construct in the Spokane area if good locations can be found, says Rich Buchco, Rite Aids Portland-based construction manager for Washington state.

In most cases, Buchco says, Rite Aids policy is to relocate older outlets into newly constructed stores that reflect an updated format, but he doesnt know what the companys exact plans are for Spokane. Rite Aid currently operates 12 stores here. Attempts to reach a Rite Aid spokesman in Pennsylvania were unsuccessful.

Local real estate sources, however, say Rite Aid is eyeing at least six other sites for new outlets heretwo more in the Spokane Valley, three on the North Side, and one on the South Hill.

The Valley sites the company is said to be eyeing, in addition to the Sprague and Sullivan location, are in the Opportunity Shopping Plaza, which is at the northwest corner of Sprague and Pines Road, and in the Dishman Square shopping center, at the southeast corner of Sprague and Argonne Road.

The site at Sprague and Pines currently is occupied by an Old Country Buffet restaurant. Dave Davenport, one of the managers at the Valley restaurant, says that if a deal can be reached, the restaurant expects to move to make way for the Rite Aid store. He says a letter of intent has been signed for the Old Country Buffet restaurant to occupy space at the Spokane Valley Mall, and the restaurant might move there later this year.

The Argonne and Sprague site that Rite Aid is said to be looking at currently is occupied by outlets operated by Premier Video, Pilgrims Nutrition, and Discount Muffler. Tom Hamilton, who owns Premier Videos Spokane parent, Premier One Inc., as well as a portion of the site there occupied by Premier Video, Pilgrims, and several small retail shops, says that if a deal can be reached, he would relocate both the Premier and Pilgrims outlets just to the east to make room for a new Rite Aid store.

Discount Muffler, which is located at the southeast corner of Argonne and Sprague, probably also would relocate, to the southwest corner of the intersection, if Rite Aid plans to build there, says Marshall Clark, owner of Clark Commercial Real Estate Inc., the Spokane company that represents Discount Muffler.

On Spokanes North Side, Rite Aid is said to be looking at a site at the southwest corner of Division and Hastings Road near a new Fred Meyer store that recently opened there, and also a site at the North Division Y.

In February, Rite Aid announced plans to have a store constructed at Shadle Center on Spokanes northwest side. Rite Aid already operates a 26,000-square-foot store there, but plans to move that outlet into the new 16,800-square-foot building when its completed. That project was slated to begin sometime this month.

The company also is said to be considering erecting a new store on the South Hill, where it already operates two stores, but no specific location has been mentioned for that project.

Buchco says the 16,700-square-foot store currently under construction at Sullivan and Sprague is going up on a 1.5-acre site owned by The Summit Group, a Seattle company thats developing and will own the building and lease it to Rite Aid when its completed. In addition to the main building, which will include a garden center, a separate drive-through building to the east also will be constructed.

Vandervert Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the general contractor on that project.

  • Chad Cain

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