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Rite Aid plans two additional area stores

Rite Aid Corp. plans to build new stores in north Spokane and Spokane Valley.

The 17,000-square-foot stores, planned for the southwest corner of Sprague Avenue and Pines Road and on Indian Trail Road, will follow the company’s new “customer world” model.

The design features wider aisles, repositioned and expanded departments and drive-through pharmacies, said Ashley Flower, spokeswoman for Rite Aid. It was implemented two years ago after executives met with customer focus groups in multiple states to discuss what they wanted in a store.

Rite Aid at Sundance Plaza in north Spokane is expected to open in early 2008 and will be the first store in the greater Spokane area with company’s updated design, Flower said.

A building permit application for construction valued at $1.5 million was filed for the Sundance Plaza store and Vandervert Construction Inc. is listed as the contractor. Flower said Rite Aid plans to lease the building from Sundance Plaza LLC.

The Spokane Valley Rite Aid would replace a Rite Aid located across Sprague Avenue in Opportunity Shopping Center. The proposed site is directly across the street from a full size Walgreens that opened nearly two years ago. The competitors will also be head-to-head in south Spokane where Walgreens is building a store at 29th Avenue and Grand Boulevard that is kitty-corner from the Manito Center Rite Aid.

Carolbelle Branch, public information officer for Spokane Valley, said Gramor Development of Seattle, a contractor for Rite Aid, has asked the city for permission to reposition a 300-square-foot stretch of alley further south and take down four buildings along Sprague Avenue.

Buildings to be demolished include the former Walgreens’ RxPress and three other buildings that stretch to popular Spokane Valley eatery Dave’s Bar & Grill. Several of the buildings that could be demolished are about 90 years old.

Dave’s Bar & Grill and all the buildings west of that will remain, Branch said.

Rite Aid Corp. is also in the midst of an agreement in which it will acquire six Longs Drug Stores in Washington, Oregon and California in exchange for six Rite Aid stores in the Reno, Nev., area. Rite Aid’s new stores include a location in Yakima.

Rite Aid Corp. currently operates 11 stores in the greater Spokane area and 138 statewide that are among 3,330 stores the company operates in 27 states and Washington, D.C.