Ocean Hill Rite Aid to Shutter, Latest In Spate of Closures Nationwide

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The Rite Aid pharmacy on the corner of Halsey Street and Broadway in Ocean Hill is closing its doors after more than 20 years. This week, Brownstoner noticed store closing signs posted on the store and areas surrounding it, along with big yellow banners advertising 10 to 30 percent off everything in the store.

The shutdown is the latest in a spate of Rite Aid closures going on nationwide following the company’s bankruptcy filing in October 2023. According to SILive.com, more than 200 Rite Aid stores have shuttered in recent months, and at least 30 more are set to close. The outlet says Rite Aid will be left with around 1,600 stores nationwide.

May 14 will be the last day for the pharmacy, and the entire store will shutter on May 19, a Rite Aid spokesperson told Brownstoner. In an emailed statement, Rite Aid said some stores chosen for closure were underperforming and their shutdown will ease rent burdens and help overall financials. Leases and rents are considered, and the company offers to transfer employees to other locations whenever possible.

rite aid closing down signs

The Ocean Hill location at 960 Halsey Street has been a reliable source of drugstore goods since it opened in 1999. Augmenting the store’s pharmacy, lottery and, in recent years, packaged food offerings, Rite Aid pharmacists also give immunizations at the location including for Covid-19. While the neighborhood has long been home to many smaller mom and pop pharmacies, the Rite Aid remains popular due to its large assortment and extended hours seven days a week.

It is unclear what will become of the site, which according to city records still belongs to longtime owner RX Brooklyn Owners LLC. New York City grocery store chain magnate, real estate developer, and former mayoral candidate John A. Catsimatidis signed for a $3 million mortgage as manager of the LLC in 2021, city records reveal. RX Brooklyn Owners LLC leased the site to Rite Aid of New York Inc. in 1999 and the lease expired in 2021, the document shows.

rite aid parking lot
The pharmacy has a large parking lot bordering Thomas S. Boyland Street and Broadway

Given the size of the site, which is bordered by Halsey, Broadway, Macon, and Thomas S. Boyland Street and includes a huge parking lot, it’s possible the single-story building will be bowled to make way for residential development of some sort. Just across Broadway, two new residential buildings have taken the place of older low lying stores, and up Broadway at Saratoga a large affordable housing development is taking shape on a long-empty lot. A 20-story tower is also being built nearby at Broadway and Linden Street.

Behind Rite Aid is a single slim 19th century storefront building, and the rest of the block is taken up by city-owned affordable senior housing Saratoga Square on land that housed a vaudeville theater in the early 20th century. The circa 1940 tax photo shows the corner lot at Broadway and Halsey Street was once a four-story mixed use building with a turret and apartments over a ground floor commercial space.

Other tax photos from the time show the block along Broadway between Halsey Street and Macon Street was a bustling commercial area that included a typewriter store, a sporting goods store, a bakery, and Pittsburgh Paints. The stretch was capped at the corner of Macon Street with a three-story building that included Macon Bar and Grill on the ground floor.

By the 1980s tax photos, what is now the Rite Aid site was a vacant rubble strewn lot, the buildings having likely burned down in the arson fires that devastated the area in the 1970s.

City records show the site was sold by the city in 1991 for $115,000 to Annie Henry General Hardware Inc. as part of an area revitalization plan. The building was then sold on to Rite Aid in 1998, who transferred the deed to RX Brooklyn Owners LLC a year later.

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