Did you ever drive past the newish Walgreens building at Shields and Fowler avenues in east-central Fresno and wonder why it was empty?
It’s not empty anymore. Dollar Tree moved in last week, with lots of household and classroom supplies and a large selection of groceries – including refrigerated and frozen foods – that can be paid for with EBT cards.
But the building sat empty for about two years before that.
Walgreens opened in 2009 in the new building constructed by a developer. It still had that new-store feel when it closed in 2015.
It’s not clear why it closed. It’s unusual because big retailers like Walgreens usually make certain that they’re moving into a spot where they know there’s enough shoppers with enough income to support a store. They don’t want to waste money opening one if it won’t survive.
Indeed, the store has a long-term lease and continued paying rent even after it closed, noted Doug Cords, a retail broker with Commercial Retail Associates.
“My understanding was it wasn’t successful,” he said. “I think they were anticipating some more growth out there.”
A shopping center with a grocery store was supposed to be built next to it, but that hasn’t happened.
The old Walgreens does have some company with the Taco Bell next door. But empty fields still surround them both. The corner is just beyond a residential area and will probably see more action in the future, says Cords.