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Pleasanton: Grocery Outlet plans to open store in Vintage Hills center

Retailer leases long-vacant former New Leaf unit

Tenant improvements are underway inside the empty supermarket space in the Vintage Hills Shopping Center, with Grocery Outlet recently signing a lease to take over the unit. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)

Grocery Outlet appears on its way to opening a store in Pleasanton after leasing the supermarket space in the Vintage Hills Shopping Center that has sat empty since New Leaf Community Markets left nearly four years ago.

It remains unclear when the new grocery store will welcome customers, but signage posted outside the unit at 3550 Bernal Ave. confirms tenant improvements are underway inside and that the company has applied for an alcohol license.

Representatives for the Emeryville-based chain of discount supermarkets declined to comment on the retailer's move into Pleasanton when contacted this week. With dozens of stores across the Bay Area and Northern California, among other locations, Grocery Outlet's only Tri-Valley location is on Railroad Avenue in Livermore.

City spokeswoman Cindy Chin confirmed that the city is aware of the new lease and Grocery Outlet's desire to update the interior and signage for the building, though no applications have been filed yet.

"Since this would be a new grocery store, consistent with the prior tenant's use, no new use permit is required. We are expecting submittal of tenant improvement plans relatively soon for interior changes, which once approved would allow that work to proceed," Chin told the Weekly.

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"Grocery Outlet proposes to re-paint portions of the exterior facade, which will require a staff-level minor design review permit approval; new signage for the store will also be approved at the staff level," she added.

The supermarket tenant space is the largest unit and designed to anchor the small neighborhood shopping center at the corner of Bernal and Vineyard avenues.

Santa Cruz-based retailer New Leaf occupied the space for just under four years until closing its Pleasanton store in early 2017. Before New Leaf opened, the unit had been empty for nearly 15 years after the old Romley's supermarket shut down. A faded New Leaf sign still greets customers turning in to the shopping center from Bernal Avenue.

The Vintage Hills Shopping Center also lost Platinum Fitness as a major tenant in recent years, and Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt vacated a corner unit there in February. A handful of other smaller units remain occupied, with the primary active tenants in two medium-sized spaces being child care and education centers on either side of the supermarket.

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Pleasanton: Grocery Outlet plans to open store in Vintage Hills center

Retailer leases long-vacant former New Leaf unit

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Oct 14, 2020, 4:49 pm

Grocery Outlet appears on its way to opening a store in Pleasanton after leasing the supermarket space in the Vintage Hills Shopping Center that has sat empty since New Leaf Community Markets left nearly four years ago.

It remains unclear when the new grocery store will welcome customers, but signage posted outside the unit at 3550 Bernal Ave. confirms tenant improvements are underway inside and that the company has applied for an alcohol license.

Representatives for the Emeryville-based chain of discount supermarkets declined to comment on the retailer's move into Pleasanton when contacted this week. With dozens of stores across the Bay Area and Northern California, among other locations, Grocery Outlet's only Tri-Valley location is on Railroad Avenue in Livermore.

City spokeswoman Cindy Chin confirmed that the city is aware of the new lease and Grocery Outlet's desire to update the interior and signage for the building, though no applications have been filed yet.

"Since this would be a new grocery store, consistent with the prior tenant's use, no new use permit is required. We are expecting submittal of tenant improvement plans relatively soon for interior changes, which once approved would allow that work to proceed," Chin told the Weekly.

"Grocery Outlet proposes to re-paint portions of the exterior facade, which will require a staff-level minor design review permit approval; new signage for the store will also be approved at the staff level," she added.

The supermarket tenant space is the largest unit and designed to anchor the small neighborhood shopping center at the corner of Bernal and Vineyard avenues.

Santa Cruz-based retailer New Leaf occupied the space for just under four years until closing its Pleasanton store in early 2017. Before New Leaf opened, the unit had been empty for nearly 15 years after the old Romley's supermarket shut down. A faded New Leaf sign still greets customers turning in to the shopping center from Bernal Avenue.

The Vintage Hills Shopping Center also lost Platinum Fitness as a major tenant in recent years, and Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt vacated a corner unit there in February. A handful of other smaller units remain occupied, with the primary active tenants in two medium-sized spaces being child care and education centers on either side of the supermarket.

Comments

Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:21 pm
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:21 pm
13 people like this

Not to be a snob, but I think this may misread that neighborhood.


Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:36 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:36 pm
9 people like this

Grumpy:

I do not understand your comment.

Would you be more specific and descriptive with what you are trying to state?

We purchased our first home in Pleasanton, in this neighborhood, Twenty-five years ago. It is a very nice neighborhood, a lot of very nice people. This type of market will be welcomed.


Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:38 pm
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:38 pm
15 people like this

I think Grocery Outlet will not be a good fit. I don’t see a reason to think that it will fare better than New Leaf. Moreover, I’m unsure of whether the neighborhood will respond to a discounter better than to a premium offering, but I suspect that discounters will have a tough time in that location, given its distance from the population of the city and its proximity to some of the most expensive housing in the area.

I know people who do this sort of site selection for a living for retail, and this selection seems more iffy than most.

I hate to see the place be empty, so I wish them well, and I hope they know what they’re doing. Another closure there might doom the spot for another decade.


Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:46 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:46 pm
21 people like this

It is not New Leaf:

It is a discount grocery.

The areas between Bernal and main street are the most heavily, densely populated area in Pleasanton. The areas surrounding this location are heavily populated on all sides.

I can vision Grocery Outlet having success in this location.


Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:52 pm
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 8:52 pm
9 people like this

Yes, that’s what we’re talking about, that it’s a discounter.

I don’t think the neighborhood between Bernal and Main is that dense. Maybe parts of Vineyard are, and the parts outside of the city there are unique, but I don’t see a solid reason why this will work.

I can’t guarantee that a premium offering would work either, but I think it might be easier for them to pay the rent. I know that New Leaf didn’t close for lack of business, so I tend to suspect that’s closer to what the neighborhood wants.

But we’ll see. Nevertheless, it’s reasonable to be surprised that a discounter chose that location.


Pete
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2020 at 9:30 pm
Pete, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 9:30 pm
10 people like this

Their customer service will probably surpass most other grocery stores in town...besides, there 2 buck chuck deals can’t be overlooked.


@Grumpy
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:17 am
@Grumpy, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:17 am
18 people like this

I went to New Leaf every day and it was pretty empty most days. I was not surprised they closed, but I was surprised people did not shop there- most claimed it to be too expensive...and many were from those expensive homes you mentioned, which I bet the New Leaf execs were counting on to carry them. It was too bad, since it a great store and really friendly employees.

The owners charge outrageous rent, which I am sure contributed to the demise of New Leaf, so unless that has changed...any new tenant will have a tough go. The owners also don’t care if it is vacant as they own multiple strip malls so welcome the tax write off.

The City does not seem to care either, evidenced by how they let it stay a vacant, abandoned fire for over a decade, right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Hope it works out this time...I like to walk to the store :)


Kat5439
Registered user
Highland Oaks
on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:31 am
Kat5439, Highland Oaks
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:31 am
24 people like this

I think this is a good fit to our town and happy to see a viable option for this shopping center. I regularly drive to Livermore to shop at the Grocery Outlet in that location as they have staples I can’t find in our current stores plus interesting items to try.


Posie
Registered user
another community
on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:56 am
Posie, another community
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:56 am
19 people like this

This Grocery Outlet is the best as far as great deals, super discount prices, and the best customer service I have ever experienced. They don't carry everything you would find in a Safeway or Raley's, but you will find some of your regular purchases at less than half of what you pay normally. This store really rocks!!! Maybe someday they will get more items, but then I don't think their prices will stay that low. It's well worth the trip and time to make a daily trip to a Grocery Outlet.


Guillermo M.
Registered user
Downtown
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:41 am
Guillermo M., Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:41 am
19 people like this

Great decision! There’s more rental, senior housing and new condominiums in that part of town that could really benefit from a low cost grocery alternative. Haven’t shopped at a GO for over 3-4 years when I worked in Oakland but loved their selection, service & prices!


gregory
Registered user
Downtown
on Oct 15, 2020 at 11:28 am
gregory, Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 11:28 am
22 people like this

Grocery outlet will be welcomed to our neighborhood! I live in the upscale neighborhood in the East hills above the shopping center and am excited that I will not have to drive to Livermore to shop at grocery outlet. It cannot open soon enough for many of us who love a good bargain regardless of our income level


Mica
Registered user
Alisal Elementary School
on Oct 15, 2020 at 11:23 pm
Mica, Alisal Elementary School
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 11:23 pm
10 people like this

Dear Snobs andAnti-Snob Snobs, I love Grocery Outlet. I can afford to shop at Gene’s with their over-priced and date expired offerings (ok, the butcher and meat department keep me going back), and I like GO for great rotating selections and prices. Watch those expiration dates too but smart shopper go to different stores for different reasons.
I too doubt the grocery store at that location will be successful in the long run which is why it a great location to build senior housing which is sadly missing in this town because of NIMBYS.


FrequentWalkerMiles
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm
FrequentWalkerMiles, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm
6 people like this

How many people in Pleasanton drive to Livermore to go to the Costco there?

GO will do fine as long as they keep the parking lot safe and clean.


Fifty Years Here
Registered user
Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 21, 2020 at 4:40 pm
Fifty Years Here, Pleasanton Heights
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 4:40 pm
2 people like this

I'll shop there! And I've never even heard of Grocery Outlet. I live in that part of town and shopped at New Leaf. Convenience is what I'm after, and a good parking lot!


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