CVS closure impacts convenience, access to prescription pick-up for SJ neighborhood

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
CVS closure impacts access to prescription pick-up for SJ neighborhood
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The neighborhood CVS drugstore located along The Alameda in San Jose is permanently out of business and all boarded up.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The neighborhood CVS drugstore located along The Alameda in San Jose is permanently out of business and all boarded up.

In early 2022, both CVS and Walgreens announced the companies were cutting down on brick-and-mortar stores. However, some surrounding residents and business owners told ABC7 News, they believe there were other contributing factors in the closure of The Alameda location.

"I used to be able to walk here," longtime resident Bill Moore explained. "But now I have to drive over to the CVS over on Lincoln Avenue. It's a little too far for me to walk."

Moore, a resident of more than 30 years, said he visited the CVS at least once a week.

RELATED: CVS to close around 900 stores, nearly 10% of its locations

He explained the store's recent closure cuts the convenience of a one-stop shop and easy access to prescription pick-up.

ABC7 News has reached out to CVS and is awaiting a response from the company.

Meantime, Nanci Klein, Director of San Jose's Office of Economic Development & Cultural Affairs released the following statement:

"Of course the closure of a general retail store such as a CVS is a loss to a neighborhood, and we hope a similarly useful new tenant will soon take over that space on The Alameda. We understand that the closure on The Alameda is part of a CVS company-wide initiative, and was chosen for closure because it was nearing the end of its lease."

We shared that response with nearby business owner, Vaslav Taranduke with True Brew San Jose.

"There's a lot of homeless people here," he interjected. "Just insanely a lot."

VIDEO: Planned closure of Marin City CVS sparks anger, anxiety among locals

Taranduke and others also pointed to the neighboring 89-room Arena Hotel, which the city purchased earlier this year with Homekey funds to help address the homelessness crisis.

"I spent a lot of time across the street, kind of watching and seeing the activity that was over here," Howell said.

Howell, owner of Red Dot Fitness, has had a front-row seat to the CVS and has also frequented the location.

"We used to come here for basic things on occasion," he explained. "Everything from a holiday or birthday card, to occasionally getting a prescription filled."

In the last few years, his cameras have captured various criminal activities that have led to multiple calls to police.

MORE: 5 more SF Walgreens to close due to rampant retail theft

"I have my concerns. I want my customers to want to come down here, and that's been a challenge," he described. "They don't want to be accosted, or harassed at 6 a.m. in the morning when it's dark outside."

Still, he said those incidents aren't his only cause for concern.

"To pull a store like this out of, what is supposed to be a very up-and-coming area here in southern Silicon Valley - it's a little concerning. I think it's telling that they know some things that I think a lot of us out here also know... that it's been a challenge," he said.

Pre-pandemic, Howell said the area held such promise. He referenced future development plans for the so-called Google Village.

"This is what the city has termed, and planned, and zoned as an Urban Village Development. So, you're supposed to be able to come and have a nice place to stay, and kind of park your car on Friday and not have to move it. Shop, stay, play, eat. Get your laundry done at the cleaners, which is no longer here," he said.

MORE: Target, Walgreens make drastic changes due to increase in San Francisco thefts

"Pick up your prescription if you needed to," he said while motioning towards the boarded-up CVS.

"It's a big, big building here. It's a big piece of property. It's practically brand new in the big scheme of things and I know it's probably gonna take somebody with deep pockets- probably a large corporation to come in here and put something in here," he added.

Howell hopes whatever comes next fits the vision and brings vibrancy to the area.

He continued, "We need a pharmacy. What is it, better than 65% of people in our nation are already on at least one prescription medication? So, that's a lot of my neighbors, a lot of my friends probably that need a place like this."

In a statement to ABC7 News, CVS Pharmacy said:

"We made the difficult decision to close our pharmacy at 821 The Alameda in San Jose on November 10. All prescriptions were transferred to the nearby CVS Pharmacy at 1285 Lincoln Avenue to ensure that patients continue to have uninterrupted access to pharmacy care. All employees of the closed store were offered comparable roles within the company.

Maintaining access to pharmacy services in the communities we serve is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions. Other factors include local market dynamics, population shifts, a community's store density, and ensuring there are other geographic access points to meet the needs of the community, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

We have more than two dozen CVS Pharmacy locations remaining in San Jose, including a CVS Pharmacy in Target that's less than a half mile from the closing store, as well as two MinuteClinic locations and a CVS HealthHUB, which offers expanded health and wellness products and services. Our teams are continuing to provide the community with outstanding service at these locations. We also offer prescription home delivery service to eligible patients through CVS.com and the CVS Pharmacy app to provide additional convenient access to medications."

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