New Walgreens Prepares for Grand Opening Next Week at 5th/Broadway in Downtown LA

A new Walgreens will be opening next week at 5th/Broadway with a grand opening on Jan 31, 2014 at 10 am

A new Walgreens will be opening next week at 5th/Broadway with a grand opening on Jan 31, 2014 at 10 am

Finally! Can you believe it’s been almost three years since we reported that Walgreens was coming to 5th and Broadway in Downtown LA? This will be the second Walgreens to open downtown (the other one is at 7th/Hope in the Financial District). Signs posted on the windows went up this week announcing for the community to join the grand opening on Jan 31, 2014 at 10 am. Workers were seen this past Wednesday adding the finishing touches with fresh paint to Walgreens’ ornate facade, such as the beautiful wrought iron detailing above the windows as part of the historic 1926 Chester Williams Building — now also home to 88 luxury apartment units.

With all the construction fencing and coverings removed from the exterior of the store, pedestrians passing by can easily peek inside the 14,000 square foot store. Shelves were still empty waiting to be stocked, but it was apparent the store will take on the appearance of Walgreens’ newer design concept with splashes of artwork and brighter colors on the walls akin to the flagship store at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. I am hoping the more austere looking 7th/Hope store — which opened in May 2010 before Walgreens’ implemented their new look — will eventually get a remodeling job with this updated design.

Funny enough, both Walgreens in downtown are across the street from Rite Aid drugstores. Unfortunately, Rite Aid has apparently not responded to the community’s concerns over the less-than-stellar conditions at 5th/Broadway, which has been a “problem intersection” with being overly gritty/seedy, and at one point, rampant with illicit drug activity.

In fact, shopping at this Rite Aid has been a subpar experience for many downtowners who feel that the drugstore chain has been completely out of touch with the evolving downtown community by not offering merchandise relevant to the new residents of downtown. To make matters worse, many products, from condoms to toothbrushes, are locked up behind window cases. Everyone is hoping that Walgreens, which apparently will not be selling alcohol, will help improve the intersection at 5th/Broadway.

The new Broadway Walgreens store will open earlier and close later than their Financial District location. The store hours will be 6 am to midnight Mon thru Fri and 8 am to midnight on Sat and Sun. For comparison, the Financial District location closes by 11 pm on weekdays and 10 pm on weekends.

Signs went up this week announcing the grand opening for Jan 31, 2014 at 10 am

Signs went up this week announcing the grand opening for Jan 31, 2014 at 10 am

Workers were seen adding the finishing touches of paint to the store facade

Workers were seen adding the finishing touches of paint to the store facade

Including the beautifully ornate wrought iron work as part of the historic Chester Williams Building

Including the beautifully ornate wrought iron work as part of the historic Chester Williams Building

A peek inside the new store

A peek inside the new store

Another view inside the new store

Another view inside the new store

Walgreens will be on the ground floor the beautiful historic Chester Williams Building, which are now luxury apartments for rent

Walgreens will be on the ground floor of the beautiful historic Chester Williams Building, which are now luxury apartments for rent

Walgreens will hopefully counteract Rite Aid and improve the seedy conditions at 5th/Broadway

Walgreens will hopefully counteract Rite Aid and improve the seedy conditions at 5th/Broadway

21 Responses to New Walgreens Prepares for Grand Opening Next Week at 5th/Broadway in Downtown LA

  1. Do we really need a walgreens right next to a ride aid?

    • You’re joking, right? Have you ever been to that Rite Aid. Ugh.

    • I concur. We DEFINITELY need an alternative to the awful Rite-Aid. 70% of the time I’ve visited Rite-Aid, there is an unacceptable number of people in line, and the store often has too few cashiers working the registers. The locked up merchandise and wait time for assistance is also annoying. The new Walgreens, as well as the planned CVS at Spring and 7th, are welcome additions to our neighborhood.

  2. Given how freaking beyond awful that Rite Aid is the answer is yes, yes we do.

  3. “In fact, shopping at this Rite Aid has been a subpar experience for many downtowners who feel that the drugstore chain has been completely out of touch with the evolving downtown community by not offering merchandise relevant to the new residents of downtown. To make matters worse, many products, from condoms to toothbrushes, are locked up behind window cases.”

    Nailed it.

  4. YAY More drugs on the Nickel! Illicit drugs sales are a fact of life on that street, and most likely will stay that way for some time to come. I myself avoid that area except only when I am going to the Last Bookstore, and even then, I take a roundabout route to get there JUST so I don’t have to take 5th Street.
    And to call the Chester Williams apartments “luxury” is stretching it.
    CHEAP is the word that covers it best. The owner, Joseph Hellen, does a fantastic job of spending as little money as possible for the best LOOKING products, and has it all slapped together to create the illusion of luxury, but like with most cheap things, once you scratch the surface (note: you don’t have to even DIG), you find dirt and problems! As someone with borderline OCD that looked at several units there, take my word for it, the look of luxury is only skin deep, and NOT worth your money. You’d be better off elsewhere.
    Back to Walgreens: They have their work cut out for them, and they will have their hands full, dealing with a sub-par property owner, and a notorious street/intersection, but I wish them good luck. They’re gonna need it.

    • Walk on the northern side of 5th, it’s better than the southern. Sad, but true.

      I know several people who live in the Chester Williams and the units are nice but not spectacular. Biggest complaint is the noise because of the old windows. But the units seem pretty good and laid out well.

  5. Any news if Walgreens will use the old blade sign?

    • Doubtful, since there’s been no work on it. I was really bummed when Hellen took down the old neon and just painted it gray. Could have been so much better.

  6. I hate the LONG lines in Rite-Aid another store was necessary…
    Given that is a new store they will probably have many visitors and I better wait till the commotion dies down…
    I’m pretty glad Walgreen is coming to this area…

  7. unless they have good parking… i wont go.

    • haha. The Chester Williams Building doesn’t even have parking for it’s “luxury” units. Where would Walgreens have it??

  8. Parking? Really?

  9. Somebody, anybody, so a story including recent pics of the Clifton’s renovation…Rome was built in less time.

  10. I purposely walk down 5th street in front of Rite Aide and 7-11 in the middle of the sidewalk to grace that intersection with my beauty. Move over dealers. This is my neighborhood.

  11. The Walgreens at Sunset and Vine is really nice so this store using the same concept should be great. I was impressed not only with the elevated design but elevated product choices.

    And the guy who said he won’t go unless there’s parking – In N Out Burger must be the place for you!

  12. Rite-Aid needs to renovate or get out. Welcome Walgreens.

  13. I believe the Rite-Aid is a direct cause of the seedy nature of my home intersection. A good neighbor does everything it can to stop the drug dealing – mostly prescription drugs – its pharmacy attracts. The LAPD has failed, to no one’s surprise, to run sting operations or – gasp! – walk the beat in my neighborhood to break the dealers’ back. Rite-Aid should have hired professional security ages ago to police their property. And don’t get me started on the wholesale lock-down of merchandise that accuses the vast majority of their honest customer base of thievery because they can’t police the inside of their store.
    Let’s hope Walgreens takes enough business away from Rite-Aid to force them to change, or better, give up the ghost so us 5th&Broadwayers get a better neighbor.

    • Marty, not meaning any offense here, but you must not have lived at that intersection before Rite Aid? In the mid 2000’s the drug dealing was more prevalent and wayyyy more obvious. I agree that it would be great if the Rite Aid did a better job of patrolling outside and inside the store, but please do NOT blame the Rite Aid in any way for bringing drug sales to one of the oldest “drug intersections” in the city. This activity goes back decades!!!

      It would be great to see the Walgreens do a better job of giving the drug dealers and miscreants the stink eye and keeping them moving along (if they would even just relocate their business to 5th and Maple that would be awesome).

  14. I hope Walgreens will have more house-hardware type stuff. Home Depot and Target are such a trek for me for string/tape/lightbulbs/mops, etc.

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