Safeway ready to start construction on new 'Lifestyle' market here

Store will anchor 12-acre retail center at Valley, Bernal, near I-680

Safeway announced this week that it will build a one of its new "Lifestyle" supermarkets in Pleasanton with a scheduled opening of November next year.

The store will be on a 12-1/2-acre site Safeway is acquiring from South Bay Construction, which won an extension Tuesday from the City Council to extend its development rights for seven office buildings on the rest of the 40-acre parcel.

The multi-million-dollar Safeway complex will include the large supermarket and other small retail shops and possibly restaurants. Safeway also is reserving an additional 10,000-square-feet for future expansion of its store.

David Zylstra, senior vice president of Property Development Centers (PDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Safeway, Inc., said earlier plans to include a fuel station on the store site have been dropped.

"Some of our newer stores have the stations, but others don't," Zylstra said. "We consider each site individually when we consider amenities."

When Safeway representatives first discussed its long-range plans for the Bernal site with the city Planning Commission 2008, several commissioners indicated they might not approve the plan if Safeway insisted on including the gas station. Opposition also was expected from the owners of the Shell Oil service station that is located directly across Valley Avenue from the proposed Safeway store.

Zylstra said the new store would be patterned after Lifestyle stores already open in Livermore, San Ramon, Alameda and Novato. Similar to those stores, it will feature foods under the "Eating Right" label for the calorie conscious and the big "O" for organics sections of foods.

Large open areas will include open bins for salads, pastries and cold cuts for the luncheon crowds with a sit-down area for dining. The store will include a Safeway pharmacy and space for allied vendors, including a bank and other services. The store will employ between 150 and 200 workers, Zylstra said.

He said Safeway hopes to clear the land and start construction late this year of very early in 2011 so that it can be open ahead of Thanksgiving next year.

Facing Valley, the store will back onto the southbound I-680 off-ramp. Driveways will be positioned along Valley Avenue and one on Bernal will link with the Koll Center drive on the other side with a full-phase traffic signal to allow turns into and out of the center in either direction.

Although larger and newer than the Pleasanton Safeway at Valley and Santa Rita Road, that popular store will remain open.

"For the most part, grocery shopping is convenience-oriented," Zylstra said. "That store has been here for years, offers great service, products and prices, and we expect it to continue to serve that side of town."

Scott R. Trobbe, a principal partner at South Bay Construction, said still plans to develop the rest of the 40-acre site it owns into an office building complex. Plans for the four-story campus haven't changed much since 2000, when South Bay joined with Greenbriar Homes and others to acquire the full 510-acre Bernal site from the city of San Francisco, which had owned the land since the 1930s. Greenbriar and KB Home have since built the homes and apartments the city of Pleasanton approved as part of the purchase agreement, that included 370 acres as a gift to the city for public uses. The city's first development on its property—lighted baseball fields—was completed last year.

In a presentation to the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, Trobbe said the office building market is still sluggish, but the synergism he expects potential office tenants to see with the Safeway complex could spur development.

"Times have changed n the 10 years since we bought this property and proposed the office buildings," Trobbe said. "People want to live closer to transportation, spend less time in their cars, walk to work, bicycle everywhere, and the Safeway store and other outlets will give them a nearby place to go."

Trobbe said he and Safeway representatives have held meetings with the Pleasanton Downtown Association, business groups, neighborhood associations and others to review Safeway's plans. So far, he's found no opposition.

Safeway's proposal is expected to go before the Planning Commission in early September and then to the City Council.

"It's an aggressive schedule, but we know that we can do it," Trobbe said.

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Like this comment
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:29 am

Yeah it would be nice to have a whole foods!!!!!!!!but oh well

Like this comment
Posted by seriously?
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:45 am

Another marginal grocery store? Pleasanton needs quality options and more variety. How many Italian restaurants do we have downtown?

Like this comment
Posted by Happy
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

I think it's great! Will be nice like Whole Foods but probably cheaper, and will serve west Ptown well.

Like this comment
Posted by What!!
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:31 am

Was dissapointed that the new Sasfeway isn't going to have the gas
station...They would have much lower gas prices than the Shell station..
Guess I will just continue to go to Dublin for my gas...

Like this comment
Posted by West Side Neighbor
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:35 am

I for one am really excited about this new store. Safeway is a Pleasanton business and I appreciate their confidence in our city. How can anyone call the wonderful changes they have made in their stores "marginal". Looking forward to the new store in this location.

Like this comment
Posted by Boomama
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:38 am

Guess Whole Foods just didn't buy the land when it was available. That's too bad. I know people that drive from Fremont to go to the San Ramon store. Let's hope they at least add the gas station.

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

How will this super Safeway impact traffic? We have watched 7 traffic signals installed on Bernal since we moved into our home. It takes longer to get to downtown Pleasanton than it does to Dublin.

Like this comment
Posted by west side neighbor
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:44 am

Maybe no one wants to open a business downtown due to all of the restrictions, any idea how hard it is to have a restaurant downtown with no parking, or street closures for "events" and then still pay the high rents. If you were a business owner what does the downtown have to offer besides stale restaurants, salons and banks. P-Town is a great community, but maybe it is not all about the downtown, we have great restaurants, shops, salons and parks that are not downtown who never seem to get the recognized.

Like this comment
Posted by mommyof4
a resident of Rosewood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:44 am

I, for one, am HAPPY about having a reasonable priced grocery store coming to my area. I hate having to drive to Dublin for groceries, even though Raley's is just next door. Raley's is fine for a gallon of milk, but everything is priced so high. I'd rather drive a little, and pay better prices and have a better selection for my money. Whole Paycheck would have been ok, but again, only for specialty items. We have a new meat market downtown for fish, seafood, and cuts of meat. I do hope the gas station comes with Safeway. The other gas station needs some competition to bring their prices down. They are often 15 to 20 cents higher than other stations.

I would like to see a Farmers Market type stand in Pleasanton, year round. Something like Windmill Farms, in San Ramon. (not that thing at the mall!) Produce is too expensive in the grocery stores, and with the downtown farmers market only on the weekend, we run out of produce by mid week.

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:17 am

"... will employ between 150 to 200 workers ..."

... None of whom will be able to afford to live in Pleasanton, because we're all so concerned with keeping "low income" people out and preserving our affluent "Lifestyle" ...

(btw: Safeway is *not* less expensive than Whole Foods for certain types of items. Not at all. And WF ain't cheap either.)

Like this comment
Posted by bobbi
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:51 am

if you want super priced groceries and you don't care about a drive, go to WinCo in Brentwood. You will SAVE a bundle on the same foods. incredible prices! and worth the drive.

Like this comment
Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 23, 2010 at 11:15 am

For those who didn't understand the marketing concept they are shooting for, this will be a direct response & competitor to Whole Paycheck, er I mean Whole Foods. Which brings me to my rant of the day. Please, WF is a freaking joke of an excuse for PC yuppies to be seen by their like-minded (i.e. brainwashed) neighbors shopping for dolphin friendly cat food, politically correct carrots & wheat & gluten free bread. Gimmee a break, Safeway is a local company that is willing to put their $$ where their mouths are & develop this new concept store & are confident enough that they are putting it in their back yard. Besides when we finally build all that new low-income housing in town we'll need another grocery store won't we?

Like this comment
Posted by justsayin
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

Nosy Neighbors, my family buys a lot of food from Safeway, but, really, Whole Foods meats and poultry do taste better. Safeway has expanded their organic produce and often has better prices there than Whole Foods does. Here's hoping Safeway does the same in meats and poultry.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Talk is talk unless supported by some type of proof. The people who push this kind of rumor usually have a pre-existing axe to grind with the company they are slandering.

Like this comment
Posted by colette
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Let's get the gas station there and provide a little friendly competition to the Shell station. Gas prices there are way too high! City Council: don't be bullied by the Shell folks. Of course they are going to fight that tooth and nail, as they will lose their monopoly on gas in that neck of the woods. No one is immune to commercial competition, so take a stand for the residents, and let Safeway build the gas station. Pleasanton residents deserve cheaper gas...otherwise we just drive to Safeway in Dublin or Costco.

Like this comment
Posted by HHR
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I'd trade any of those mentioned above for a Mi Pueblo in Pleasanton.

Fresh homemade tortillas - Yay!

Like this comment
Posted by AVHS1995
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm

What ever happened to Pleasanton having a water park built over in that area? They would do great with a water park and it would bring more business into the Pleasanton community? Shadow Cliffs just isn't cutting it.

Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm

a majority of planning commissioners supported having a gas station there at the last meeting on the subject.

Like this comment
Posted by Amanda
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm

We DO NOT need another Safeway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Allisa
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jul 25, 2010 at 9:30 am

Allisa is a registered user.

Didn't Pleasanton just agree to build low income homes? I believe that this property would have been a great place to build residential townhomes, along with a small play area for kids and walking trails. We do not need another grocery store, organic or not. The old store on Bernal and Kolln still sits empty, use that one and save the open land for better uses.

Like this comment
Posted by 35_year_resident
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Jul 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

35_year_resident is a registered user.

Hmmm, Pleasanton is so concerned about their "gateway" entrances to the town - yet they approve a grocery store at one of them? This store will be nice for the first year while all the Safeway execs swarm it with pride, then the service and quality will rapidly go down hill just like their other stores in the area. I'll continue to get my gas at the Shell station and then drive to Draeger's in Blackhawk for my shopping.

Like this comment
Posted by Res1971
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Res1971 is a registered user.

Another Safeway? Talking about corporate greed!

We have a pitiful downtown that needs small business to re-vitalize it. Last thing we need is another Safeway, cookie-cutter center. (Let me guess, it will have a Panda Express? Peet’s or Starbucks? CVS? A nail salon, a dry-cleaners, a Supercuts, a bank, etc etc.) The shopping center will cripple all the other ones in the area. Pleasanton doesn’t need another store. Didn’t one just close down?!!?!? How many of these corporate giants do you need in a city of 67,000 people?!

AND THE TRAFFIC! CalTrans is now installing Metering Lights at the Bernal/680 on and off ramps. That is going to be bad enough. But now with a new mega-center right there...ugh!

Would be nice if more residents of Pleasanton worried about what they already have and how to make it better, then going all googly eyed for another large shopping center that is not needed. Are they going to be closing down the other Safeway? I can’t see two Safeways that close to each other making it.

Bye Gene’s, Lucky’s, Koll Center Shopping area, Rita Aid, nice knowing ya!

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