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Rite Aid store to close in Schenectady's Goose Hill neighborhood

Rite Aid store to close in Schenectady's Goose Hill neighborhood

Dollar General considers opening new store in the neighborhood
Rite Aid store to close in Schenectady's Goose Hill neighborhood
This Rite Aid store at the corner of Van Vranken Avenue and Gerling Street is being eyed for a Dollar General store.
Photographer: Marc Schultz / Gazette Photographer

SCHENECTADY — The Rite Aid in the city’s Goose Hill neighborhood will close and the building will likely reopen as a Dollar General.

The city Planning Commission issued site plan approval to the project last Wednesday.

Dollar General said it's in the “due diligence” phase of the project. 

“This means we are reviewing the opportunity to add a new store in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet,” said spokeswoman Angela Petkovic. “Based on our current timeline, we anticipate to have a final decision on this by early 2020.” 

The location, she said, would employ approximately 6-10 employees depending on the individual needs of the store.

While the Walgreens-owned Rite Aid won’t close for another two weeks, the pharmacy’s last day of business was Thursday.

Prescription files have been transferred to a new Walgreens pharmacy that opened Friday in Sheridan Plaza at 1322 Gerling St., which is located less than a mile away. 

The pharmacy transfer is automatic: Patients will not need to take any action and will receive a letter in the mail with details, Walgreens said. 

The new location includes a drive-thru, an amenity lacking at the current location.

Walgreens recently purchased 1,932 locations from Rite Aid and has been closing stores in some areas where existing Rite Aid and Walgreens stores were close together.

“We are in the process of closing some locations to help ensure we have stores in the right locations that can deliver the greatest value for our customers,” said Phil Caruso, a Walgreens spokesman. 

Primax Properties project director Rob Neill, Jr. told the Planning Commission Dollar General aims to slightly reduce the number of parking spaces at the location and will conduct some facade improvements as well as resurface the parking lot. 

“We plan to renovate the building for Dollar General,” he said. 

While commissioners approved the project, they required Primax to ensure the parking slots are replaced with green space, among minor cosmetic changes. 

Neill said he was amenable, yet wanted to ensure the changes, including landscaped traffic islands, didn’t impede the retail chain’s 67-foot delivery trucks. 

The Tennessee-based retail chain operates 15,836 retail locations, including locations on State Street and Broadway in Schenectady, as well as four others in Schenectady County. 

Goose Hill Neighborhood Association President Camille Sasinowski said she had mixed thoughts about the changes. 

“So many of the elderly, in particular, found it convenient,” Sasinowski said. “Now they’re forced to go that additional distance up to Sheridan.”

But alternatively, she noted Dollar General will offer some groceries. 

“It’s bittersweet in many ways."

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