Santee Rite Aid Set to Close, Liquidation Sale Coming

A disagreement over the lease, likely a rent increase, is given as the reason for the closing.

The at the corner of Mission Gorge Road and Cuyamaca Street will be closing its doors on Friday, only to reopen for a liquidation sale on April 1, and close for good a couple weeks later.

Eric Harkreader, a spokesman for Rite Aid, said the store and the property manager weren't able to come to an agreement over the lease extension and once the lease was up, a decision was made to close the store.

Friday is the last day of regular business, and the pharmacy will close for good. Rite Aid's pharmacy clientele records will be transferred across the street to the . Beginning April 1, they will be liquidating the non-pharmacy part of store for next couple weeks, or until enough inventory is sold.

An employee of the Plaza de Cuyamaca Rite Aid indicated that reason for the upcoming closure was mainly based on a rent increase that property managers were seeking- purportedly up to double the previous rent price. She also said that other small shops in the center were facing challenging rent increases, and the , it closed down about a week ago, with a sign on the door indicating an intent to reopen in a new location.

The recent upgrade to the facade of the Petco store, remodel of the storefront and remodel of the in the Plaza, and pressure for other stores to follow suit, were cited by the Rite Aid employee as reasons for the rent increase.

Representatives of the Smokers Outlet could not be reached to verify reasons behind their move.

Larry March 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM
When you've priced Rite Aid out, you know the rent is high!
Tom Oatman March 23, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Even though there still seems to be an abundance of vacant retail space, I guess property managers are anticipating continued improvement in our economy and are being quick to take advantage of it by raising rents. But while It's been an excellent time to remodel these worn strip-malls, the greed which contributed to our previous recession will easily cause another.
no March 24, 2012 at 04:30 AM
I is what it is, and it is messed up!
Dennis March 24, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Why should rent be increasing in this location? This is the oldest retail center in Santee, and the building definitely has its problems! Why should the center owner not be keeping the rent the same in this type of economy? Other businesses in this strip don't seem to be doing gangbuster business, which probably means more store closings, which means existing stores such as Petco will probably find it harder to stay in business -
Bonnie M March 25, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Greedy Landlord, he wanted to recoup his money for remodeling the building for Fresh and Easy. He wanted to double the rent for Rite-aid and wanted to make them pay for the remodeling of the outside of the building. This Landlord must be crazy. With all the empty buildings in Santee now,he thinks he will get some other company to rent his property? The staff at Rite Aid were awesome and they really helped so many seniors. The pharmacy was "top notch" and the people who chose to shop at Rite Aid already know this. This is a devastating loss to those of us who were made to feel like" family" when we went to the pharmacy. Such a shame! Shame on you Mr.Landlord. How can you sleep at night?
Diana March 30, 2012 at 11:57 PM
First there was Rite Aid, then SavOn/CVS and Walgreens in Santee. CVS and Walgreens are clean, well signed and lit - places you don't mind to shop. Rite Aid was dingy, poorly maintained and poorly stocked. Guess which store is packing up and leaving?
Joe Spencer March 31, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Exactly Right.
Larry March 31, 2012 at 12:57 AM
They aren't leaving because of low customer numbers, they're leaving because the rent was raised, the same reason the smoke shop in the same center is moving. I loved that Rite Aid. Friendly people, CLEAN, and well maintained. Going there reminded me of when it was Thrifty, especially watching kids at the ice cream counter.
Rich Smith March 31, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Looks like the same thing is going on in CA as here in the east. CVS is getting to be the big guy in the Pharmacy industry. Much as the others may be slipping, I think their merger with Medco has allot to do with their success. A pharmacist from Rite Aid in our town was pretty bitter about that. Just feel bad for those workers who are out looking for work.
buzidebbee April 18, 2012 at 02:14 PM
More lost jobs. More people losing their homes and going hungry. I hope that place stays empty until they have to tear it down. Now is NOT the time for greed or even making that extra buck. If we don't start working together the bad times will continue.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) June 29, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Smokers outlet is open again, not sure if it's the same ownership
Steven Bartholow (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Update on BevMo! coming to Santee- http://santee.patch.com/articles/beverages-and-more-coming-to-santee


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