Good Question: What will happen to the former Walgreens building on Thurston Road?

What will happen to the former Walgreens building on Thurston Road?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On Thurston Road between the Rochester Airport and the University of Rochester sits an empty building ever since the Walgreens closed over a year ago. What will become of that building?

When Walgreens moved out, people who live in that neighborhood were left without a pharmacy or grocery store within walking distance. Mary asks “is there any update on what may go in since they closed a while back?”

When Walgreens closed in November 2022, Josie McClary, president of the 19th Ward Community Association says it really impacted her neighborhood.

McClary: “We want something there that, at least, grandma down the street can walk and get some toilet tissue, some toothpaste, and some hygiene products right?”

“So you have individuals that don’t drive, right, so that became a barrier. A barrier in a community that we already have a tremendous amount of barriers, we are a pharmacy desert now. We’re a food desert now.”

The closest pharmacy is on West Main Street, a little over a mile away. The closest grocery store is on West Avenue, also about a mile away. Jimmie Quinn lives in the neighborhood and shopped at Walgreens before it closed.

Quinn: “I talk with all the neighbors and we all talk and we all miss it. I don’t drive now and I’m 77 years old, so this would really be a very convenient store to have here.”

McClary says that at one point there was talk of a Family Dollar moving into the location. “This is not what the community wants, we have already four Family Dollars in this southwest quadrant,” she said.

McClary says there’s been talk about a different discount store coming it but it’s been a couple of months since she’s heard anything new. “Right now, we in limbo. We really don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

A representative from the City of Rochester says the city has been in contact with the owner and the owner is in talks with an interested business, although “nothing is confirmed at this point.”

News10NBC called the owner who is based in New York City. He said he has no comment and hung up.

If you live in the city and have had trouble picking up prescriptions, the Rochester Pharmacy Access Coalition created a survey where you can share your thoughts. It’s open to the public right now. You can pick up a copy at any neighborhood service center, public library, or R-center.

If you have a question you’d like answered, send an email to