Owner of San Mateo Rite Aid demands money to pay for structural issues plaguing store

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Peninsula shopping center appears to be sinking. The owner of a store in that shopping center is now demanding millions of dollars tonight to fix the problems.

This is happening on Concar Drive and South Delaware Street in San Mateo at the Rite Aid and Ross stores, which have serious problems inside.

The city has ordered the stores to make repairs and they are, but Rite Aid says someone else needs to pay.

"I've been walking with a cart and pushed and felt like I was falling off my shoes and it was just because the floors were un-level," said Wendy Schoen, a Rite Aide shopper.

Cellphone video from inside the Rite Aid shows several places where the floor has buckled or cracked.

"It's very noticeable that it's not flat," said San Mateo resident Adam Cirillo.

The floor next door at Ross Dress For Less is even more dramatic. The city of San Mateo received complaints and sent inspectors. The deputy building official even went to see for himself.

"I definitely confirmed both stores have a really bad situation," said deputy building official Ravi Mahajan.

He says Rite Aid had become structurally unstable. The city issued correction orders.

"We have asked them to correct the dangerous situation so that it's safe to use," Mahajan said.

The owner of Rite Aid, Thrifty Payless, has filed a lawsuit against the developer of an office complex across the street. The suit alleges "de-watering" at the construction site caused the damage.

"These issues weren't present, or occurring prior to construction of new development. I would say it's something explorable and possible to look into," said Humza Chowdhry, with HC Structural Engineering Inc.

Rite Aid is seeking at least $2.5 million in damages.
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