Old Louisville residents say Rite Aid closing is detrimental to neighborhood

As Old Louisville Rite Aid closes, residents concerned at lack of options

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The closing of Rite Aid on 4th and Oak streets is just another blow for people living in Old Louisville.

It’s already a struggle to find healthy food, now, people have to turn elsewhere to get their medication starting June 10. Walgreens purchased Rite Aid and decided to close this location.

After the Kroger closed down at 2nd and Breckenridge, the Rite Aid was the only option for many.

“I don’t think it’s the best quality food at Rite Aid, but it’s all we have so we come here all the time,” Limerick resident, Liana Ibershoff, said.

A Family Dollar will be all that’s left in the area. The closest pharmacy will be a Walgreens on Broadway, more than a mile away.

“We don’t have a lot of options as far as shopping goes in this neighborhood without getting in a car," Old Louisville resident Dana McMahan said. "Of course not everyone has a car to get them to the store or the pharmacy.”

A lot of Old Louisville residents, like the seniors living in assisted living high rises, walk to get around. The sidewalks are always moving with a variety of people, but essential businesses don’t appear to stay.

“First, they need to get the area safe so people are not afraid,” Dusty Brummett, who has lived in Old Louisville for over five years, said.

Brummett thinks the crime is scaring businesses away and LMPD should patrol more.

Others believe the neighborhood undeservingly gets a bad rap.

“That’s a pretty convenient excuse, but the thing is you see crime on the news in other neighborhoods as well and it feels like sometimes we are an easy target for stories like that,” McMahan said. “If they would take the chance to come visit and get beyond the famous 4th and Oak corner, they would see things like Old Louisville brewery which opened off of Magnolia, and North Lime Donuts, which opened a year or two ago.”

Courtney Johnson, owner of Roof Top Grill, said his Old Louisville location has been lucky for the past year and a half. Johnson opened this location in order to attract more customers who were scared to venture over to California and Broadway to grab some jerk chicken.

“I heard there was a break in at the bank across the street and my neighbor’s restaurant last week, now I’m kind of nervous too," Johnson said. "But, I don’t see a whole lot of crime. There are places that are worse.”

It's still unsettling for Johnson to look across the street, knowing that businesses around him are closing their doors.

“I still think someone needs to come around here and help to get it straight around here,” Johnson said.

Metro Council President David James represents the district.

“I’m sorry Walgreens decided to choose profit over people on this location,” James said. “I remain committed to the revitalization of Oak Street. Having LMPD with dedicated foot patrols in the area would definitely be a bonus to achieving the goal. Having Chief Conrad seeing it as a bonus would definitely help.”

With all the senior living in the area, James also said for Walgreens to pull out “shows a total lack of compassion for people who truly need their services to survive.”

There’s no word yet on what will happen with the building after Rite Aid moves out.

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