New video of Ocean Beach Safeway remodel; ready for submittal to the City

For the past two years, Safeway has been working on remodeling plans for their Ocean Beach / La Playa location, which would result in a new store, below and above ground parking, as well as new residential units on the northern end of the Safeway lot. The store will remain open during the estimated 10 months that the remodel would take to complete.

All along the way, Safeway has been in communication with the surrounding community that lives near the Safeway. Early on neighbors were concerned about the larger footprint of the remodeled store, and its potential for blocking their light and views on the 48th Avenue side.

Today, Safeway emailed out the latest video rendering of the project developed by Lowney Architecture (view it above).

This latest version includes some key changes including a (sea life?) mural on the corner of the building at 48th and Fulton, the shifting of the driveways on La Playa to better align with the Plaza across the street, and what they’re calling “studio residential” housing on 48th Avenue, which would be located above and behind a small retail storefront on the corner of Cabrillo and La Playa.

Safeway currently owns the entire lot spanning from Fulton to Cabrillo, and 48th Avenue to La Playa, but they plan to sell off the north end of it to a residential developer. Residential units would be located at the northeast and northwest ends of the lot.

The project website also has images of some of the planned architectural detail (though they’re so small it’s hard to make them out). From what we can tell, there will be a lot of new trees planted, some mosaic work, the new mural mentioned above, and a nifty pedestrian bridge that connects the at ground parking to the store (additional parking is below).

In today’s email, Safeway Real Estate Manager Natalie Mattei said, “We expect to submit our City application within the next week,” and that it will be posted on the project website afterwards.

After submittal of the new application, the project will undergo the City’s public review process which will includes numerous opportunities for community review and comment.

To keep up with the latest developments on the Safeway remodel, visit the project website or follow @safewaylaplaya on Twitter.

So what do you think? Are you excited to see this Safeway get a makeover?

Sarah B.

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  1. Can’t imagine anything worse. Is this a prison or a neighborhood supermarket?

  2. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put the entrance at the corner of La Playa and Fulton has never been to the corner of La Playa and Fulton when the gale force winds are blowing sand drifts up Fulton.

    On most days, Fulton is a natural wind tunnel. Just imagine the wind blowing through the store every time the door opens.

    Or imagine walking out of the doo,r groceries in hand, as the pressure suddenly changes from zero to blistering wind in your face…. and those two re-usable eco-conscious bags you are carrying in either hand, just turned into parachutes.

    This inattention to such a important detail makes me question what else was overlooked in favor of a snazzy video. Where are the solar panels?

  3. College Ave in Oakland is a major business corridor. Building something like that out in OB, what with the extra retail, would not work out. They’d have a lot of empty shops there. Just look at the row of businesses by the Burger King.

  4. The very early plans for the Ocean Beach Safeway redesign did have retail stores on the Fulton Street side but they didn’t remain in the plan. As it is currently, there is retail space (for 1 store) below the condos which will be on the north end.

    Sarah B.

  5. I live a few blocks away. As it is currently I feel like I’m stepping into the Eastern Bloc every time I walk onto that property. So I’m for a new Safeway that would add some vitalization to the area. I’m also for more pedestrian traffic around here.

    Nonetheless the new Safeway building design is quite dated. It’s design reminds me of stores that were being remodeled in the late 90’s. It looks like it has been copied and pasted from a strip mall in Southern California.

    This massive property is across the street from the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Park, two or our most highly valued spaces within Public Trust of the city, county and state. Any redevelopment of this space, both architecturally and plan-wise, should be respectful and sensitive to the history, environment, and vernacular of the nearby spaces. I would suggest allowing this project to come under the California Coastal Commission planning jurisdiction if San Francisco allows it to move forward.

    The Parks visitor center up above the Cliff House did a great job of tying their building into the existing landscape and treading lightly. With the right authority and supervision in place, the new Safeway has a great opportunity to make this a fabulous model project. Such a project could redeem their brand and perhaps recover the exodus of folks who now patronize Whole foods, Adronicos, Trader Joes, etc.) and to boot, help out the Richmond district.

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