701 Portola (Image Source: MapJack.com)
While Walgreens had planned to raze the Miraloma Gas Station at 701 Portola and build a 7,000+ square foot store covering the site, rumor has it they backed out “due to ‘unreasonable’ green building requests by the City’s DBI and Planning departments.”
And now, CVS Drugs is planning to piggyback off Walgreens groundwork and proposed design, shuttering the station and breaking ground on the site as early as February assuming final approval of all permits.
While we can’t confirm whether or not the rumored reason for Walgreens pulling the plug is true (readers?), we will echo our tipster’s surprise that Walgreens would easily cede the site to a competitor.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by NelsonW

    There is a small Walgreens in the next block. It is very interesting that this makes business sense to CVS as they already have another large store down on West Portal.
    We like the gas station, so it will be a loss for us. Yeah, I just said “we like the gas station.” Go figure.

  2. Posted by EsEf Gerard

    I live in the neighborhood and I’m dismayed by the apparent lack of opposition to CVS taking over this project. Why do we need another Pharmacy/ Drugstore in such a condensed shopping strip? Shouldn’t CVS need a conditional use permit? The original plan made a lot more sense. Wallgreens would build a bigger store and vacate their existing premises. Another business could then occupy the vacated Wallgreens space. We’ll be losing a Gas station and gaining ?? There will be additional traffic as well as more employees looking to park on unrestricted streets in the neighborhood.
    I don’t see any advantage to a CVS store when we already have a wallgreens practically next door. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think the proposed project is a good fit for our neighborhood.
    BTW: I don’t believe there is a CVS in West Portal? But there is a Wallgreens. Ditto on missing the Gas Station

  3. Posted by Scooter

    There’s currently only one CVS in the City, on Van Ness/Pacific.

  4. Posted by Gil

    What a bleak picture. They don’t call that area pneumonia gulch for “nothing” – sorry for the double negative.
    In point of fact the Walgreens is quite small. The city wouldn’t allow them to expand into a small space next door which has been emptuy now for at least 5 years. So if Walgreens had vacated I am not so sure the space would be taken.
    There aren’t enough gas statiopns in the City so it will be a loss. Guess CVS can afford the demands being made by the City while Walgreens couldn’t.
    Problem with the proposal even as put forward by Walgreens was the design. It should be Mediterrainian to align with Old Miraloma which is right next door.
    The other problem is that the block is mostly 2 stories. This would have been aperfect place to do a 2 story building with the top being a couple apatments or condos.

  5. Posted by Augustus

    Mediterrainian
    Wot dot?

  6. Posted by Bubs

    I’m sure that tiny Walgreens won’t last long if the CVS ever goes in. I live nearby and have never bought gas at that site cause it’s too expensive. I haven’t seen the design, but I agree it could have worked as a multiple-story building.

  7. Posted by Gil

    One thing that should happen but won’t knowing the “city that knows how” and the second-hand way Miraloma is treated, would be to require a greening of the wide sidewalk from the proposed drugstore down to Miraloma Market.
    For anyone who lives in the area note how the large median on this part of Portola got redone – cemented in basically. With spindly eucalyptis type trees ever so often which, once they grow, will buckle the median strip. Someone told me the city got a deal on the trees – they are butt ugly so I wouldn’t be surprised.
    This passes for greening in Miraloma. Oh well.

  8. Posted by EsEf Gerard

    Whether “Art Deco” or “Mediterranean”,I doubt the aesthetic design was not the show stopper for wallgreens.
    It’s more complicated than design, more likely something cost prohibitive.Like having to remove the old fuel tanks?

  9. Posted by anon

    Anything that rids of another horrible gas station is great in my mind. We still have far too many (IMO). It’s not like there are lines at most of the stations that we have, and they’re all horribly blighting and ugly.

  10. Posted by kthnxybe

    Gil, there is no reason to apologize for a double negative in your sentence. “They don’t call it pneumonia gulch for nothing” means they do call it that for some reason. :)

  11. Posted by nnona

    We interrupt your blogviating for a special news break.
    Scientists today have discovered the existence of fog, yes fog, in the city of San Francisco.
    In response, thousands of residents of San Francisco’s western “sun belt” neighborhoods have picked up their pitchforks and torches to revolt against the abrupt disappearance of their perpetually picturesque clear blue skies.
    One Miraloma Park resident we talked to said she was so upset by the new found bleakness that she was considering a move to a more sunny locale, like Seattle or Portland.
    We’ll have more later on this fast breaking story…

  12. Posted by EsEf Gerard

    nnoa: I for one would appreciate it if you refrained from posting comments that are not germane to the topic of discussion here. It’s kind of serious. If you want to goof around, maybe you should be cutting up on sfgate.com – By the way, for those of us who grew up here, the Fog jokes are kinda Old.

  13. Posted by nnoa

    EsEf Gerard: I for one think you have completely missed the ironic nature of my post. One might even say that it went over your head like the “bleak” fog that rolls over “pneumonia gulch” (note: not my kinda Old Fog joke) on a typical summer’s day in EsEf.;)
    PS You seem hella not mellow for Old school EsEf, peace out.

  14. Posted by anon

    nnoa, if you’re going to try and post something funny, please make sure it is actually funny before posting it. Thank you.

  15. Posted by nnoa

    anon, you can find it not funny, fine with me. But at least have the cojones to put a name behind the post. Thank you.

  16. Posted by mtdave

    What is the update on this project? Any possible way to protest this? As a lifelong Miraloma resident who lives a couple blocks behind this space, I am furious about a giant chain being put in here. The construction is well under way though. What can we do??

  17. Posted by mtdave

    Click on Item 10 and it jumps to the discussion of this piece of land. Good arguments on both sides?
    http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=20&clip_id=12125

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