Point Loma residents fight to keep CVS out - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Point Loma residents fight to keep CVS out

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – On Thursday night Point Loma residents made a major push to keep a CVS from opening in their neighborhood.

The CVS Pharmacy would replace a Fresh & Easy that closed its doors at Catalina and Talbot Street.

As the racks and register sit empty in the closed down grocery store, Point Loma residents expressed their hunger for a grocery store, not another drugstore.

“We've used the family market for as long as it has been here. My wife has, sometimes I do the shopping too,” said Jim Hurl, a Point Loma resident.

The Fresh & Easy grocery chain filed for bankruptcy last fall, and since then have closed down their stores nationwide.

When word spread to residents in the area that Fresh & Easy was selling its leases to CVS, residents became worried.

“I was somewhat horrified actually,” said Point Loma resident Cameron Peter.

Susan Hauser said, “There is no need for another drugstore. We are saturated with drugstores. We need a grocery store.”

The landlord has taken the residents’ side.

In court documents the owner of Catalina-Talbot Properties said the lease requires the shopping center’s anchor to be a grocery store. Also, the new business would have to not be in direct competition with the other six retail stores in the center.

One of those six businesses includes the family owned Point Loma Cabrillo Drug store.

“We have a very nice local pharmacy there with an owner that is very community involved and we would like to support that pharmacy,” said Peter.

On Thursday night, the Peninsula Planning Board approved a letter to send to the Delaware Bankruptcy judge encouraging him to side with the owner by obeying the lease.

The nearest grocery store is two miles away.

More than 3,000 people have signed the petition to keep the former Fresh & Easy a grocery store and not a drug store.

“We are dealing with a corporation and we are just a small community but we are a very passionate community. We really want a grocery store there and we are willing to fight for it," said Hauser.

A representative for San Diego Councilmember Lorie Zapf’s says she supports keeping a grocery store. Zapf is encouraging residents to flood CVS with calls and letters to oppose moving into that location.

Fresh & Easy did not return CBS News 8’s request for a comment.

In an email statement CVS wrote: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment prior to the hearing date in bankruptcy court regarding this matter.”

The judge in the case has delayed making a decision.

Court documents show that Fresh & Easy is in a deal to sell five of its locations as a package deal to CVS for $5.5 million, including the Point Loma store.

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