Business & Real Estate

The shelves are stocked. But this Natomas store won’t open

FILE - This June 4, 2014, file photo, shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston.
FILE - This June 4, 2014, file photo, shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. AP

Walgreens built a 15,000-square-foot store in South Natomas and stocked the shelves, but there won’t likely be an opening day.

The corporation – worried about site’s prospects for financial success – won’t open the store despite being on the hook for a 25-year lease, said Sacramento City Councilman Jeff Harris.

He informed attendees at a community meeting this week of the stalled status of the store at West El Camino Avenue and Truxel Road. Requests for information from Walgreens were not answered on Friday.

Harris said the developer was contacted by the Illinois-based company and told that it would not open the store, which was built over the past year and recently stocked with merchandise.

“This was completely unexpected,” Harris said Friday during a telephone interview. He said the information he has received comes from the developer and the shopping complex manager. “I don’t have definitive answers at this point. We’re looking to see what we can do at this point.”

Walgreens’ decision apparently was based on a corporate analysis of the number of stores in the area and other data to “determine their profitability or lack thereof,” Harris said. “They apparently decided it was better to pay the (lease) costs instead opening and losing money.”

Harris said all of the Sacramento parties were stunned by the decision. He said he is not sure if Walgreens is permanently abandoning the building, or temporarily delaying the opening until other financial options are finalized.

The councilman said all options are now on the table, including another business operating at the site. Harris said the shopping complex manager apparently approved on-site upgrades and obtained agreements from other tenants based on the future presence of Walgreens.

“Obviously, the community does not want an empty building,” Harris said. “We’re looking at all the options, maybe even another use. It’s going to be an interesting process.”

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover