Noe Valley Voice June 2007

Wells Fargo Looking at Rite Aid Space

By Jan Goben

The ATM machines have made no annoucements, but the word is that Wells Fargo Bank is eyeing the Rite Aid space that will soon be vacated on 24th Street.

"We are in negotiations about that," said Andrew Esposto, manager of the Wells Fargo Branch at 4023 24th Street.

Wells Fargo would rent half of Rite Aid's old space, Esposto said, and the other half would be occupied by another business. "I've heard rumors of some interest from a kid-friendly café--we have a lot of families in this area, so that would work well," Esposto said.

Wells Fargo would vacate its current space and move a few doors up the block to the Rite Aid space. The Rite Aid storefront is about 5,000 square feet, and Wells Fargo would occupy about 2,400 of that, Esposto said.

Wells Fargo's current location is 600 square feet, and on a recent afternoon, there were five customers standing in a line that made its way out the door, waiting for two tellers.

If the bank moved into the Rite Aid space, with four times as much footage as its current space, Esposto said, "We could have a mortgage representative who would give quotes on mortgages, we could have financial consultants, and we could have seminars for first-time homebuyers."

Wells Fargo's central San Francisco office would not confirm a possible move, however. Chris Hammond, a communications manager for Wells Fargo, said, "Our plan is to continue where we are. Anything beyond that is pure speculation today."

Still, he added, "We're absolutely staying in the neighborhood."