Exclusive: Dialysis Service Provider Cancels Plan for Former CVS Pharmacy Location

RAI Care Center, a Fresenius Kidney Care dialysis center, will not move its operation into the former CVS Pharmacy location on the 1700 block of Ocean Avenue despite winning approval from the Planning Commission in December 2020.

RAI Care Center
RAI Care Center won approval to move into the former CVS Pharmacy space in December 2020.
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Citing conditions imposed by the Planning Commission, a dialysis service provider has canceled its plan to open in the long-vacant CVS Pharmacy location on the 1700 block of Ocean Avenue, according to an email obtained by the Ingleside Light.

Fresenius Kidney Care, the parent company of RAI Care Center, spent months negotiating with neighbors, community advocates and the office of former District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee to obtain a conditional use permit to move next door into 1760 Ocean Ave. The company planned to use 15,000-square-foot space to operate 36 treatment chairs, 12 more than it currently operates.

The community held several meetings with the project sponsors over traffic congestion, noise, facade improvements among other concerns. On Dec. 17, the Planning Commission unanimously granted conditional use authorization to allow the company to operate the same number of chairs until a one-year review deemed the expansion appropriate.

“My client has determined the conditions requested by Supervisor Yee’s office and applied by the Planning Commission to limit their build out only to the current [number] of patient stations made the project untenable,” Keith Hansell, a project architect with Savely Healthcare Architects, wrote to neighbors. “The project has been cancelled.”

The Ocean Avenue Association, a community benefit district charged with maintaining and improving the corridor, asked that the project sponsors discuss the issues with neighbors who live above the project site and for an improved facade.

“I wish I could say that they listened to me early on,” OAA Executive Director Dan Weaver said. “Between the HOA, OAA and district supervisor we have been able to stop this expansion.”

The Ingleside Merchants Association opposed the project outright over a number of concerns. [Disclosure: The Ingleside Light is a member of IMA.]

“It’s exciting to hopefully see a small independent business open up rather than a dialysis center,” Ocean Ale House co-owner and Ingleside Merchant Association Chair Miles Escobedo said. “It’d just be better to have a grocer or a community-oriented retail space.”

For Shirley Lima, whose home sits atop the commercial space, she was glad the space will be available for retail use.

“The drawback to it all is traffic in the right lane wont be resolved because part of the deal was that when they moved into the new location they would manage that traffic,” Lima said. “For now, everyone is reporting to 311.”

An interview request sent to Fresenius Kidney Care was not returned by press time.

With Fresenius Kidney Care bowing out and Target Express slated to leave in June, the neighborhood’s commercial space vacancy problem is growing.

“The vacancy is getting worse,” Weaver said. “Not unlike many neighborhoods.”

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