Our beloved Safeway store (a.k.a. the only name-brand supermarket within a 5-mile radius of campus) on the corner of College and Claremont avenues in the heart of the Rockridge and Elmwood shopping districts has plans for a facelift. No one is pleased.

The 1960′s-esque store plans to double its size and become a 2-story “lifestyle store” with a bakery, pharmacy, full-service meat counter, extensive organic produce section and a flower shop which neighbors worry will destroy the essence of the neighborhood and displace local specialty shops. Sound familiar?

“It’s a bastard design, if you pardon my French,” said Claremont resident Susan Shawl, who is leading the movement to protest the new design. “They say it was inspired by Julia Morgan, but it’s clumsy, overbearing, cheap, and looks like it belongs in a commercial mall. It’s appropriate in downtown Oakland.” Would Julia Morgan ever design a monstrosity like a supermarket?

A meeting was held Sept. 10 to involve the community in the controversial new design, and five more meetings have been set to further discuss the issues surrounding the reconstruction. There appears to be a lot of strong feelings involved, we just hope Safeway doesn’t become the new tree sit.

Image Source: Roadsidepictures under Creative Common
Meetings Set on Safeway’s Plan in Rockridge [Contra Costa Times]
Safeway Unveils New Plans for College Avenue Store [The Berkeley Daily Planet]


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