Walgreens, located at 1979 Mission St., will close by Dec. 26. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

The Walgreens at 1979 Mission St., next to the 16th Street BART Station, will close its doors for good on Dec. 26, bringing another empty storefront to the northern part of the transit plaza.

Walgreens staff posted a notice on the front doors of the store this week, notifying patrons this Christmas would be the store’s last. 

The store’s assistant store manager, who identified himself as Neilvin, told Mission Local that he was informed of the news last week.

“I came back from vacation, and they told me they were closing down,” Neilvin said. “I don’t know the specific reasons; that was all I got from my store manager.”

He directed any further questions to the company’s media relations team. 

Employees posted a closing sign on the first week of December. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

The Walgreens, which Neilvin said employs around 50 workers, will be the third business to shut its doors on the block recently. The City Club, a local bar favored by the Latino community, closed in 2018 for undisclosed reasons and relocated one block east between South Van Ness and Capp Street. The owners and staff of City Club declined to comment as to their move. The Burger King, also located next to the plaza, closed in January, 2018.

This drugstore has been on this site since before Walgreens expanded into a national mega-chain. It sits atop land owned by Maximus real estate and slated to eventually house the long-gestating 1979 Mission Street project — labeled “The Monster in the Mission” by opponents. Maximus spokesman Joe Arellano declined to comment on whether the Walgreens closure portended any action on the site.  

In the meantime, the news comes as a blow for locals. Maria Savedra, 78, lives near the intersection and relies on the pharmacy for her medication and other supplies, like toiletries. She has trouble moving and uses a walker to get around. She’s been coming to the store for 15 years.

“I wouldn’t want them to close it. For me, I’d rather it stay open,” Savedra said. in Spanish “It would be a shame for us that live nearby.”

Another customer, Sandra Cervantes, lives in Bayview but was visiting the 16th Street Walgreens. Two other stores have closed near her home, including one at 3801 3rd St., which shut in 2018, and she said that their closure is forcing her to travel further to buy basic supplies. 

“People are being left without any options,” Cervantes said in Spanish.  

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Melissa Santiago lives off of 19th and Mission and relies on public transit to get around. Without a car, she orders everything online but relies on the 16th and Mission Walgreens for last-minute supply runs. 

“I pass this intersection almost every day of my life. This is just a convenient place right off BART and the bus.” Santiago said she first noticed the closure sign earlier in the week. 

According to Walgreens, all prescriptions filled at the 16th Street locale will be transferred to another Walgreens pharmacy at 2690 Mission St., at 23rd.

Molly Sheehan, a senior manager with Walgreens’ media relations team, confirmed the closure via email. Sheehan said it was part of the company’s plan to close a number of stores across the country, and the 16th Street locale was among them.

Patients have been sent notices in the mail and will have their prescriptions transferred, she said.

Empty shelves at Walgreens. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

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31 Comments

    1. Prop 47, which 80% of San Franciscan voters supported, allows addicts and shoplifters to basically get a ticket for stealing from retail stores, as long as the items stolen have a value under $950. Karma.

      1. passing prop 47 was one of the biggest mistakes that California has ever made. It will only get worse. It is a license to steal, with little or no consequences to the criminal.

      2. True, I am sorry for the lost jobs, hut SF has created this stink hole and now the new so-called D.A
        (Dumb Ass) let’s the scumbags free. Another symptom of bleeding heart Demorats.

    2. Or a makeshift navigation center. Very convenient location as there are plenty of prospects right next door.

  1. This is an excellent opportunity for a developer to build high-density housing right next to a BART station (think 10 to 30 stories). We need more units on the market.

      1. You mean drive out the junkies and drunkies who can’t afford “market value”. Those who can will be greeted with open arms of which there are more than enough to keep business booming on the corner. Of course there are also a number of junkies who are not drunkies (and vice versa) who are buying the property to stash the dough they got from selling the junk and booze. Oh, btw, only a junkie or a drunkie would develop a 30 story tower on landfill in an earthquake zone, don’t you agree?

  2. This Walgreens and the neighborhood has deteriorated so much in recent years. I always thought this store would be better placed in the shopping center where Safeway is at 16th and Bryant/Potrero.

  3. Time to approve housing here. This area is going to further deteriorate with an empty storefront. RIP Walgreens. Tough doing business when most of your customers just steal the products.

  4. It’s a disgusting shopping environment. High paranoia as though you were incarcerated. Surly clerks apathetic clerks ignorant security guards profiling the wrong people. It always seemed like I was a different hostile country when I shopped there. Very unwelcome attitude for customers. Can’t say I’ll miss it. That the company allowed begging vagrants to act as doormen was shocking. .
    Next they need to close the Walgreens at Eddy and Van Ness.

  5. the article shows amply how so called “quality of life” issues, often dismissed as the “complaints of the wealthy gentrifiers”, have a disproportionately negative effect on low income, elder, migrant and disabled citizens. because they have fewer options or flexibility regarding finance, transportation and personal safety they are at much higher risk. lowered quality of life drives out the business and community resources that are necessary to serve the needs of the most vulnerable in our community, and because of that should be a top priority.

  6. Strange how the author failed to mentioned words like”homeless,” “drug dealing,” or “feces” in the article. How could somebody responsibly report on this location without covering these critical neighborhood amenities that lend themselves to this location.

    1. I walked into this location this past Wednesday to find empty shelves & nothing in the freezer section & was a little confused because I hadn’t noticed the sign. I’ve been coming here since I was in elementary school to buy my Halloween treats & candy canes. And that has to more than 35 years ago. It’s true that the neighborhood has gone downhill with people loitering & drugs outside, while shoplifting happens inside & nothing can be done about it. Walgreens has tried. I’m sad to see it go, but it was inevitable. SMH

  7. The need for high-density transit-oriented housing at this site is desperate. I hope San Francisco will come to their senses about this but I’m not holding my breath.

  8. Oh, who needs storefronts. Why go out when you can have same day delivery for your box of q-tips or tube of toothpaste.

  9. the vast majority of this specific Walgreens products can still be bought down the block on the sidewalk and in the Armory parking lot. They are carefully laid out, and are priced at a reasonable discount. The actual 16th street retail spot is really more of a warehouse where basic products wait to be liberated.

  10. This Walgreens suffered massively from theft (thank you Proposition 47 – supported by 80% of San Franciscans, thank you) and a filthy environment. Just another unintended consequence of idealistic “progressive” policies.

  11. She lives at 19th and Mission. There is a larger Walgreen at 23rd and Mission, so what is she so pissed about?

  12. Joel and his team, Veva and Sandra, have provided high quality pharmacy services for the North Mission community for decades, helping people negotiate both the money and medical ends of the deal.

    Losing their services will negatively effect the quality of life for many of our neighbors.

    I’m wondering where the nonprofit community organizers are when a critical resource for “their people” is going to close? What? There’s no $ percentage in it for them? Oh, okay.

  13. I remember walking into this Walgreens after school, and before school with my folks…It always had a strange feel to the store atmosphere, and the clerks never were helpful in finding anything. The new laws passed by San Francisco will make the city fall down even more so, and we’re gonna loose more local businesses, and drug stores. It always feels strange that our new District attorney allows people to poop in the streets, and shoplifters to steal, and crime to be committed… with the new prop that was passed into law last election thieves can take up to 900 dollars I think it is..The crazy thing is, it’s not immigrants that do these crimes, it’s local gangs of teenage kids stealing and boosting their newfound products at illegal markets in the mission! ! ! ! …It’s a wonder even more stores aren’t closing across the board. I hate to say it, but… San Francisco is no place to visit if you’re a tourist….Bus tickets, expensive prices, dirty streets, poop on sidewalks…It’s all a bit like some bad movie… Sad part is, it’s the immigrant population that gets the bad end of the deal…. When things thrive, there are jobs for people who need them…When they don’t, there is crime for people who don’t need it. You see, many immigrants are law abiding citizens that just want to take care of their families… When there is more crime, the blame is shifted onto a degenerate population like immigrants, and nothing gets solved. The path towards citizenship is lagged another 10 years due to crime in the city, and important stores like the Walgreens pictured here leave. . . It’s happening all around San Francisco at the moment. Currently, our rep with tourists is that we are a bad place to visit. . . It’s sad that we have that rep, but apparently, the fathers of our city don’t seem to notice…They crawl back into their “safe space”, and keep getting more checks as crime increases, and disease and sickness plague the population…It’s a sad thing for locals, and immigrants alike who depend on the tourist population to stay alive, yet we have a new D.A in the house that wants to enable crime to be committed by allowing shoplifting gangs to steal. It’s all another way that San Francisco is leading the charge with their “progressive agenda”, and not thinking about the hard working families that are going to have to suffer through the changes. . . It’s a place to be right? Liberal? Left Wing Leaning? Progressive? So you say that crime is o.k Mr D.A? No it is not! Not in my city where I grew up! Not in my city where immigrants were my friends and worked hard, and taught me how to work hard too! Not it my city! Not here where the percentage of the population that does not work for the federal government is suffering because of loss of tourism! Not No Way, Not No How! Let’s all stand together and make a real change, and get the bozo that wants to allow crime in my city OUT, and one who understands that immigrants are law abiding citizens that are challenged due to the cities progressive policies, and a new D.A that doesn’t have a sick poop/pee fetish that wants to see it everywhere he goes! ! ! Let’s recall the bastard. . . This will keep happening across the board, and immigrants will loose their tourist jobs in the hotels and places that get visited…All for some sick freak that wants to sniff pee, and poo every time he walks outside…Enough Already!!!!!!!!!

  14. It’s only gonna get worse with Breed and SonuvaCopKiller Boudin running things. Enjoy your bed you voted for it, now lay in it, My Friends

  15. I’m loving the winning! Poor San Franciscans who don’t have Amazon Prime accounts are hurt by Prop 47 and SF’s great new DA, as they force basic retail stores to close. Non-poor San Franciscans will simply use Amazon Prime and such services to never need to go to retail stores for toothpaste. Rich progressives have so much hate and spite for poor people they can’t even allow them to have basic services like a drugstore, working public transportation, or basic services like public safety and clean streets.

  16. I hope Walgreens takes care of the employees and hires them at other nearby Walgreens. This store was always the skankiest, most dangerous Walgreens in the city. The employees were heroes for putting up with all the mayhem. They were professional, courteous, and nice to everyone in my experience. There was a fellow who worked behind the photo counter who always had a smile, despite the mayhem and stench created by many of the so-called customers.

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