downtown los angeles, historic core
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New Downtown LA CVS Drug Store Now Open at 7th and Spring

A new 13,800 square foot CVS has opened at the corner of 7th and Spring in the Historic Core of Downtown LA

A new 13,800 square foot CVS has opened at the corner of 7th and Spring in the Historic Core of Downtown LA

Announced back in Nov 2013, a brand new CVS drug store opened yesterday (on Sunday) on the southwest corner of 7th and Spring in the Historic Core. Located on the ground floor of the historic 1912 Van Nuys building—containing 299 senior housing units above—the new 13,800 square foot CVS store already has a dramatic new effect on the immediate corner. It’s kind of weird and wonderful at the same time to see a brand new store open with lots of people going in and out of a space that was once empty and lifeless for so long. A large red CVS sign sits above the main front entrance facing 7th Street directly across from the Bartlett lofts. Although this is technically CVS’s second location downtown (another small, long-forgotten CVS store is located at the very sad LA Mall in the Civic Center), it really feels like the first one given that hardly anyone has seen or heard of the other one before.

One of the biggest concerns some downtown residents have is how the drug store will handle the sale of alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs given its close proximity to the Skid Row homeless population. It’s been a big problem for Rite Aid at 5th/Broadway, for instance. According to CVS executives at a recent DLANC (Downtown LA Neighborhood Council) meeting, there will be stricter measures implemented at this store with hopefully effective results. For example, an identification will be mandatory when purchasing prescription drugs where those who live significantly farther away from downtown will not be allowed to buy from the store. A full-time security guard will also be stationed by the front entrance.

In addition, another concern is the physical transparency of the store when it comes to being able to see inside from the outside and vice versa. Thank goodness the large beautiful windows will NOT be blocked. According to management I spoke to at the new store on Sunday, the only reason why the white roll down gates were closed a few weeks ago (blocking out all windows) was because CVS had not installed their alarm system yet. Now that it’s installed, only the actual doors—the main entrance on 7th Street and another emergency exit on Spring Street—will have interior roll down gates closed after business hours, which is currently from 7 am to 10 pm.

The store itself is what you would expect with a brand new CVS. It’s clean, well organized, and carries many of the everyday items residents of Downtown LA will find useful and necessary from food to pet needs to cosmetics to household cleaning supplies to greeting cards. Definitely a great addition to the growing neighborhood as more residents will continue to call Downtown LA’s Historic Core home.

The main entrance to CVS along 7th Street

The main entrance to CVS along 7th Street

CVS shopping carts

CVS shopping carts

Food, snacks, and beverages

Food, snacks, and beverages

Cosmetics, hair and facial cleansers

Cosmetics, hair and facial cleansers

Pharmacy and other health products

Pharmacy and other health products

Everything from baby and pet needs to greeting cards and stationary supplies

Everything from baby and pet needs to greeting cards and stationary supplies

These nifty baskets can either be carried or rolled on the floor

These nifty baskets can either be carried or rolled on the floor

Love the big open windows that provide great visual transparency to the store

Love the big open windows that provide great visual transparency to the store

Another view of the large windows facing both 7th Street and Spring Street

Another view of the large windows facing both 7th Street and Spring Street

Another view of the large windows facing 7th Street

Another view of the large windows facing 7th Street

CVS opens at 7th and Spring helping to activate the corner

CVS opens at 7th and Spring helping to activate the corner

The historic Van Nuys building was built in 1912 and is now home to 299 senior housing units above

The historic Van Nuys building was built in 1912 and is now home to 299 senior housing units above

11 Comments

  1. I thouroughly enjoyed my CVS shopping experience…Wish they would have kept with the”Hooks Drug Store” name…can you hear me say…”Lets go to Hooks’!” for a birthday card…now its CVS!

  2. Lawrence says

    I know some people think that a new CVS isn’t anything exciting, but it’s important on two levels:

    1) It provides another amenity for downtown residents. They don’t all have to shop there (some may prefer Walgreen’s etc.) but it provides options. New restaurants and boutiques are great and we need them as well, but they aren’t businesses that serve daily needs in the same way as drug stores or grocery stores do.

    Business like CVS help make a neighborhood liveable.

    2) It activates the ground floor of a great historic building. This corner has been underutilized for so long – it’s nice to see a legitimate neighborhood serving business here. In the long term it may help clean up this corner as well, which is far too often covered in trash, pee and god knows what else.

  3. Marty C. says

    I agree Jason and Anna – the Rite-Aid is dirty, poorly managed and a magnet for drug dealing (which the LAPD and the Purple Shirts watch and do nothing about from the 7/11 across the street). I live across the street and moved my prescriptions to the Walgreens the day it opened. I won’t step into that Rite-Aid anymore.

  4. Dion says

    How do we get them to power wash the outside? How freaking expensive can it be? It should have been part of the TI

  5. Ricky says

    Walgreen’s has been successful at keeping the poor out. Hopefully CVS will be successful too! Down with Rite Aid.

  6. JJJJJ says

    Its a shame they went with the 80s interior design. Walgreena and Rite Aid are rolling out modern stores in their new locations.

  7. bflatrbaritone@mac.com says

    CVS is unloading its massive semi truck at 1am in front of my building underneath the windows. This needs to stop ASAP!

  8. Yes, how can we get them to power wash the outside walls and sidewalk? It’s SO dirty, we always assumed they would clean it up before opening but no, it’s as dirty as ever. Very disappointing. At least they finally got rid of the nasty, rolled-up metal grate covering the tree out front.

  9. Rite Aid is a night made there is one clerk gave me a bad time would nor save shopping bags then Pharmacy meat up on my med will not go back CVS is #1 in my books

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