After getting a more than one year reprieve, turns out the on again-off again fate of the Rite Aid Pharmacy at the Fairplain Plaza is once again off. The store is slated to officially close down for good next Tuesday.
Last February signs offering the 11,180 square foot building were erected on the corner of M-139 and Napier by the developers of the Fairplain Plaza, who had indicated at that time that the store's lease was ending and would not be renewed.
A couple of weeks later, the rumors that the store would be shuttered proved unfounded and the store remained open without a single down day. Lormax Stern Leasing Agent Andrew Luckoff had originally told us that Rite Aid's lease was expiring and they had elected not to renew for the large building at the corner of M-139 and Napier and developers had erected a new sign offering the space for lease in mid-February of 2018.
What was true, all along, was that a large number of Rite Aid stores had been purchased by Walgreens which also owns a store in another quadrant of that same intersection of M-139 and Napier, diagonally across the street. That deal was completed in the fall of 2017, which also helped fuel the fires of the rumors regarding the fate of not only the local Rite Aid, but many others across the country.
In recent days notices were placed in the window at the Rite Aid locally, telling customers that the store would be closing on April 23rd.
After Rite Aid elected to close the Benton Township pharmacy, company officials reported that the Walgreens at 874 E. Napier Avenue purchased all of the prescription files for local Rite Aid customers and those file transfers were completed just last week. Clients impacted by the transfer will be sent further instructions by mail according to those officials.
Besides the Benton Harbor Rite Aid there are three other Rite Aid Pharmacies in Berrien County including those at 6535 Paw Paw Avenue in Coloma, 612 St. Joseph Avenue in Berrien Springs, and 3681 Shawnee Road in Bridgman. Those three are not immediately affected by the Benton Harbor closure.