Tag Archives: College Avenue Safeway

Philz Coffee on College Avenue opens today

Philz on College Avenue. Photo: Kate Williams
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The third East Bay location of Philz Coffee is officially open for business. The College Avenue location in the new Safeway complex threw a soft opening party Tuesday as a welcoming gesture to the neighborhood, with the full management staff, including founder Phil Jaber, in attendance.

Philz, founded in 2003, has been opening new locations at a rapid clip over the past year; it opened on Gilman Street last summer and it held a grand opening for a Redwood City location last month. And, according to TechCrunch, Philz recently closed on $15 million in funding in order to expand operations beyond California. CEO Jacob Jaber told TechCrunch that he plans to open at least 10 more locations nationwide by the end of the year.

The College Avenue Philz joins the Gourmet Ghetto and Gilman District shops in the East Bay. It is part of the new Safeway shopping complex, and will soon be joined by C.R.E.AM., the popular cookie and ice cream shop. … Continue reading »

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New Safeway on College Avenue opens to crowds

A new 45,000-square foot Safeway opened on College Ave. on Jan. 15. Photo: Celia McCarthy
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Hundreds of people jammed into the spanking new Safeway store on College Avenue on Thursday. Most were there to gawk at the shiny surfaces or taste a variety of free samples, but plenty of people were there to shop, happy to have a large grocery store back in the neighborhood.

The new store is 45,000 square feet and cost about $35 million to build, according to Chris Pattillo, chair of the Oakland Planning Commission, who spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The store employs about 160 people, and 65 of those union jobs are new, she said.

“We’re excited,” Bernard Hardy, Safeway’s vice president of retail operations told the crowd that had assembled for the in-store speeches. “Tell your neighbors we’re back. We’re excited about being back in the neighborhood.” … Continue reading »

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Construction halted at Safeway on College and Claremont

A shot taken Dec. 5 by video cam of the Safeway lot on College and Claremont.
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Update 1/24/14: After three months of no activity, Safeway is reporting that construction resumed on the new Safeway store on Jan. 21. The company finally received a building permit from the city of Oakland after it consulted with the Rockridge Community Planning Council and other community groups, according to the Safeway website.

“As you may remember, Safeway signed a settlement agreement over a year ago with several Rockridge community groups that required Safeway to confer with them about major design refinements after the City of Oakland approved the project for construction.  Over the past five months, we have had very productive meetings with these community groups regarding design changes that were needed in order to accommodate the store’s structural and operational systems.  We have now reached a point in those discussions where we can resume activity at the site, while continuing to communicate with the community groups as construction progresses.”

Original story: For the past two months, there has been no construction at the site of the new Safeway store at College and Claremont avenues on the Oakland-Berkeley border.

The Pleasanton-based company halted work on the project after Oakland stopped processing its building permit. Oakland took that step because Safeway had violated its 2012 agreement with neighborhood groups to discuss major design changes before submitting a permit application to the city.

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Demolition starts on Safeway on College Avenue

Demolition began Monday on the Safeway store on College and Claremont.Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Oakland Mayor Jean Quan joined Safeway officials and neighborhood activists Monday to celebrate the official groundbreaking for a new store at the intersection of College and Claremont avenues.

After a few hellos and speeches, everyone got down to the main event: watching two huge bulldozers start to tear down the 49-year-old structure.

“Right now we have a store to knock down so let’s get some sledgehammers and get going,” Todd Paradis, Safeway’s real estate manager, said to the two dozen people assembled. … Continue reading »

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Safeway on College to close on July 8 for major rebuild

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The Safeway store at the intersection of College and Claremont avenues on the Berkeley-Oakland border will close on July 8 for 12 months to undergo a major rebuild which has been more than seven years in the planning.

Neighborhood appeals against the project — which will create a bigger store with a public plaza, rooftop parking and a number of small retail outlets — caused the delay. Concerns centered on the scale of the proposed store.

Eventually the size was reduced, and the store was brought down to street level (from a proposed second-floor design); limits were agreed on the number and type of other retail outlets on site; Safeway was required to provide enough parking for the new development, and to pay for parking permits in perpetuity for nearby residents.   … Continue reading »

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New Safeway on College green-lighted, designs revealed

A bird's-eye view of plans for a new Safeway on College Avenue. Source: Lowney Architecture
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A new Safeway grocery store and retail development planned for College and Claremont avenues has gotten the nod from Oakland officials after seven long years in the making, and a hard-won community consensus on the heels of steep resistance from many residents.

The Oakland City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to deny a neighborhood appeal against the project, after representatives from several community groups reached an agreement with the grocery store company earlier this week. (The appeal could not simply be withdrawn, despite the signed agreement, due to procedural rules, city staff said.)

The settlement agreement over the particulars of the College Avenue Safeway project resulted from several intensive mediation sessions, run by Oakland Councilwoman Jane Brunner, between Safeway and neighborhood reps over the past five weeks. The sessions came about in the face of a possible lawsuit from community members who opposed aspects of the development that had been approved by the Oakland Planning Commission. … Continue reading »

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Residents air concerns about College Ave. Safeway plans

Dozens of local residents attended a community meeting Dec. 13 to hear the latest about the College Avenue Safeway plans. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Update, 5:23 p.m.: Via Stuart Flashman, “After another five hours of negotiating today (following up on two hours over the weekend) the agreement has been finalized. The RCPC Board (which has been primed for a vote since Friday) promptly approved the agreement by electronic vote. The other two groups (FANS and BPOD) will be voting tonight, but the community negotiators are unanimously recommending approval.”

Original story, 2:15 p.m.

With what may be the final major approvals for a new Safeway store on College Avenue set to take place Tuesday night before the Oakland City Council, residents came together for an update late last week.

About 60 community members attended a session Thursday night run by several mediators who have, along with Oakland Councilwoman Jane Brunner, helped broker a deal to get Safeway to respond to neighborhood concerns and bring negotiations to a close so the project can move forward after seven years in development. … Continue reading »

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Safeway on College needs all-new design after mediation

A mediation sketch of plans for a Safeway reconstruction on College Avenue on the Berkeley-Oakland border, November 2012. Image: Lowney Architecture
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In response to pressure from neighbors, Safeway has scrapped years of work and agreed to a smaller, street-level store for its site at the junction of College and Claremont avenues, with enough parking, store reps say, for all of its customers.

When the project comes back before the Oakland City Council on Dec. 18, officials and community members will see a whole new set of plans, said architect Ken Lowney of the Oakland-based Lowney Architecture. Tuesday night, Lowney presented the council with rough sketches for the 45,500 square foot store, which is set to open onto College Avenue just north of a plaza separating it from a new, 9,500 square foot retail space.

As for all the site plans, renderings and videos for the project (viewable on the store’s website), “it’s all out the window for now,” said Lowney. Coming up with a whole new design in the next few weeks could pose a major challenge. The previous design took his firm about six weeks to complete. But, he said: “We’re just going take a run at it.” … Continue reading »

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Breaking: Neighbors, Safeway agree on College Ave. store

Safeway on College (via http://www.safewayoncollege.com)

This story was updated at 4:35 p.m. 

A mediation effort between Safeway and three community groups opposing aspects of the grocer’s College Avenue store has resulted in a resolution and new agreement, according to statements released this week.

As a result, final action on an appeal before the Oakland City Council set for Tuesday, Nov. 13, has been postponed until Dec. 18., according to a statement from Safeway.

Oakland city staff said at 4:30 p.m. that the hearing will still take place and community members will be allowed to speak, given the late notice, but that council members could announce tonight whether a decision will be postponed. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Why I support plans for the Safeway on College

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In July, the Berkeley City Council took up the EIR agreement for the proposed Safeway store on College Avenue in Oakland’s Rockridge district right on the Berkeley border. Buoyed by the protests of the attendees, Mayor Bates summarized the objections of the council, “it’s just too big for the location.”

In the debate about the Rockridge Safeway, there is little understanding of how the 61,000 sq ft design came about. Why is this project so big? Why have they piled … Continue reading »

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Oakland Planning Commission approves Safeway plans

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On Wednesday, the Oakland Planning Commission unanimously certified the final EIR and approved Safeway’s proposed plans for its College Avenue store which sits on the Oakland-Berkeley border.

A statement released by Aroner, Jewel & Ellis Partners, who have been retained by Safeway, said the grocery store was “heartened by the commission’s support and their comments in support of the design, the size and the community benefit our proposal would convey on Rockridge.”

The statement continued: “The commission did not agree with the opponent’s assertions that our project violated zoning, or that traffic was unmitigatable. They did not buy arguments that the store would negatively affect the small merchants across the street, or that the EIR was in any way inadequate.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Council unites in opposing Safeway project

Safeway Rockridge
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A ten-year-old girl who lives on Lewiston Avenue was among more than 20 people who stood up to voice their opposition to Safeway’s plans to expand its Claremont-College Avenue store at Tuesday night’s Berkeley City Council meeting. “It will ruin my neighborhood and community and cause traffic chaos,” she said. “It’s already wiped out cute stores like Chimes Pharmacy.”

She and the other member of the public who object to the scale of the proposed store and its potential impact on local traffic and air pollution needn’t have worried. Berkeley’s leaders are unanimous in their disapproval of the grocery giant’s plans for a store which is sited in Oakland, a hair’s breadth from the Berkeley border. They have little power to stop it, however. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley City Council to hold hearing on Safeway project

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Even though the new Safeway store proposed for College and Claremont Avenues is in Oakland, the project will have significant impacts on Berkeley. To assess how the new supermarket will affect the Rockridge area, the Berkeley City Council will hold a special work session Tuesday night at 5:30 pm.

The city of Oakland sent a draft Environmental Impact Report about the store to Berkeley in July when the council was on recess. Berkeley is holding … Continue reading »

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