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Downtown Buffalo will no longer have a Rite Aid pharmacy

The company wouldn't give a reason why it's closing the location on Main Street in the business district. As a result, downtown will now lack a pharmacy.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Rite Aid located at 452 Main St. in downtown Buffalo will be closing on September 21, according to a spokesperson. 

Employees of the location hung signage on the front doors announcing the closure and that those using the pharmacy would now find their prescriptions at a Rite Aid location on Genesee Street, 2.5 miles away. 

"It's really been an important resource for both downtown residents and people who worked downtown," said Angela Keppel. "It's one of the only places you can buy a wide variety of things."

While downtown's only grocery store, Braymiller Market, provides a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, Rite Aid is the only pharmacy in the central business district. 

According to the University at Buffalo, the widely accepted boundaries for the downtown neighborhood are Elmwood Ave to  Michigan Ave and Goodell/Edward St. to the Buffalo River. 

Evergreen Health does operate a pharmacy for their patients on Elmwood Ave.

"It's really our only drugstore in the central business district," Keppel said. "It's really disappointing."

2 On Your Side reached out to Rite Aid to find out why the store located at 452 Main St. is closing, and why they are sending pharmacy customers to a location 2.5 miles away from downtown. 

Rite Aid did not answer the questions but provided a statement saying:

"Like all retail businesses, we regularly review each of our locations to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers, communities, and overall business. A decision to close a store is one we take very seriously and is based on a variety of factors including business strategy, lease and rent considerations, local business conditions and viability, and store performance. We review every neighborhood to ensure our customers will have access to health services, be it at Rite Aid or a nearby pharmacy, and we work to seamlessly transfer their prescriptions so there is no disruption of services. We also strive to transfer associates to other Rite Aid locations where possible."

According to Erie County records, Rite Aid owns the building. It's unclear if the building is for sale. 

"We had both CVS and Rite Aid and now with CVS gone, and Rite Aid is gone," said downtown resident Joe Trapp. "Where the heck do people expect us to go?"

There are multiple hotels, apartments, and affordable housing units located within the central business district. According to the latest census data, over 3,000 people live downtown. The number of people that work downtown is estimated from Buffalo Place. 

"This is where you go to get your basics," Trapp said. "We're losing our last holdout."

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