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Safeway signs lease for former Fresh N’ Easy space on 32nd Avenue

The space at 375 32nd Avenue will soon be taken over by Safeway

A reader sent in a tip this week that late last month, Safeway signed a lease for the vacant retail space at 375 32nd Avenue near the corner of Clement.

The space was formerly occupied by a Fresh N’ Easy Neighborhood Market, but closed in 2016 after the chain, owned by UK parent company Tesco, shuttered all of their U.S. stores.

The space has a CVS Pharmacy next door at 377 32nd Avenue which will remain. We don’t know many details of the lease other than there are some provisions limiting how much floor space they can devote to vitamins and greeting cards, presumably to leave those categories for CVS.

Safeway also has two other locations in the Richmond District at 7th and Cabrillo and on La Playa near Fulton by Ocean Beach.

The Ocean Beach store was due for a large remodel, including the addition of a housing development on the north end. But those plans, other than a sprucing up of the current location, were abandoned in 2015.

Ironically, Safeway opened the first supermarket at the 375 32nd Avenue location back in the 1970’s (readers, keep me honest here on timing!), taking up the entire building. It then became an Albertson’s but they moved out in 2004. The building stayed vacant until 2011, when the space was divided up and opened with Fresh N’ Easy and CVS as occupants.

With the addition of this third Safeway location, “middle” outer Richmond residents will now have two large grocery stores to choose from including Grocery Outlet located on Geary at 27th Avenue.

No word yet on when Safeway will open up their new 375 32nd Avenue location but we’ll keep you posted.

Sarah B.

33 Comments

  1. There was an Albertson’s in this location that closed in 2006. Not sure when it opened.

  2. I’ll take it. Better than a Whole Foods to come in and start the hyper-gentrification of this part of the Richmond. Rents are still insane but a WF would bring in another 40 coffee shops on Clement and too many trendy boutiques to count.

  3. Huh, that’s going to be a small Safeway. I suppose it is better than having a vacant space there. Wonder if it will be one of their Safeway Neighborhood Markets?

  4. It could become one of Safeway’s Community Markets that tend to be smaller than regular size Safeway. I’m for anything new as I’m over going to the Ocean Beach Safeway.

  5. When the Safeway closed in this location, the building was torn down and Albertson’s built the current building. They closed and Fresh and Easy and CVS moved in.

  6. The Safeway there closed down in the 90s, and it was vacant for about a decade before Albertson’s tore it down and rebuilt it. They only lasted a few years before they shut it down. Doesn’t much matter, though, the building’s haunted anyway.

  7. I was really hoping for one of the 365 by Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s in this space (even sent requests to both companies online). Such is life!

  8. I recall a few years ago, the parking lot became a notorious drug dealing location.

    Does anyone know if that’s still the case?

  9. I remember that old Safeway. Had a cool arched roof and script letter sign. Would have been hella retro now.

  10. I moved around the corner in 1993 and the Safeway closed the following year in 1994. I’m happy there will be something there instead of nothing. just an eyesore currently with CVS showing no interest in the trash and dying landscaping in and around the parking lot. The sooner the better, I say.

  11. I remember the Safeway and Albertsons as well. I would prefer a TJs but at least there will be more new jobs in our neighborhood.

  12. Safeway opened this store in the early 50’s, not 1970. The first Safeway in the Richmond district was located on 25th and California under the PiglyWiglly name. It was the first self serve grocery store and the first to have shopping carts. My mother talked about this many times. Previously you had to ask the proprietor for each item you wanted and they took it off the shelfs behind the counter.

  13. Looking forward to it. As someone who lives off California and chooses not to have a car, it’ll be hugely advantageous to have a grocery store on the bus line.

    Even with a smaller size, it should be complete enough. The gross out is fine, and in happy it’s there, but too often I need to go there first and a normal grocery store second.

    Regardless, I missed Fresh N Easy. Being able to do groceries without a zipcar or walking several blocks will be welcome again!

  14. The Albertson’s lasted about five years. For those who may not know Safeway, Albertsons and Lucky are now all owned by one venture capital firm.

  15. Is this for sure or just based on an anonymous tip or…? We’ve heard this before, just want to know what we really know.

  16. @richmondwow – The city recorded a signed lease for the property.

  17. @The Dude
    “I recall a few years ago, the parking lot became a notorious drug dealing location.

    Does anyone know if that’s still the case?”

    I’ve heard a drug cartel had been operating there for quite some time.

    Their call sign is CVS …?

  18. FYI Lucky stores are no longer part of Cerberus Capital Management (which now owns Albertsons/Safeway) and are a part of Save Mart.

  19. I’m really looking forward to this. Right now, for me, it’s a 2-bus trip to get to the Safeway on 7th & Cabrillo. With the new Safeway, even though it’s futher away, it will only be a 1-bus trip. It will make it easier, especially on the return trip, laden down with groceries, not having to transfer.

  20. Just to dip into the arcane, Safeway in SF apparently preceded the Piggly-Wiggly’s; Safeway already had 29 branches in SF by 1928. See:
    http://www.groceteria.com/place/california/san-francisco/san-francisco-in-the-1920s/
    http://www.outsidelands.org/streetwise_groceries.php
    But why Safeway needs another at 32nd and Clement, I don’t know. I remember the Safeway that was there in the 1990s, a sleepy, tired affair. I don’t understand the business logic; at first glance the new store should mostly cannibalize the other two Richmond branches (which is why I imagine the branch was closed in the Nineties). I would have thought that the adjacent Seacliff neighborhood and the general gentrification of SF neighborhoods including our own would have made it profitable for a more upscale/trendier store to be there.
    I hope the new store isn’t like the Andronico’s it took over in the Sunset, where your Just-4-U specials and Chevron gas awards don’t get applied.
    Still, I suppose it will be useful on those summer weekends and special occasions like Bay-to-Breakers when the Safeway at the beach is unusually crowded.

  21. Better than empty I guess. But what happened to Safeway’s big plans to remodel the La Playa St. location? That store is so run down and outdated that it is an embarrassment to the Safeway brand and the neighborhood.

  22. @safeway question – they scrapped their plans for La Playa Safeway remodeling and housing development, and instead did a little sprucing up last year.

  23. The central richmond has been lacking a large grocery store for some time. Hopefully they get this Safeway open asap.

  24. @KAT … “building’s haunted”??? Wow …
    For real??? I’m intrigued!

  25. I’m happy about this. I shop at Safeway, and think it would be a good addition for locals. Def better than a vacant Fresh N’ Easy (what a flop!). Trader Joe’s is fun, but I don’t think it meets the needs of everyone like Safeway can.

  26. @Judy
    There’s definitely a reason why businesses haven’t been able to last in that spot. That entire area (including the gold course) is built on a cemetery, which the city “moved” back around the turn of the century. My dad even found a human skull there when it was still a trolley car turnaround back in the ’50s.

  27. Why don’t these STUPID stores carry what the neighborhood wants?? Albertson’s failed b/c they applied a midwestern selection of food we didnt want– they had a 100-foot long aisle of Campbell’s Soup – who in heck buys that swill anymore? Why did Fresh ‘n’ Easy think it could sell vegetables wrapped in saran wrap? (They did it b/c that’s how they sell veggies in “cling-film” in England). Again, NOT LOCAL!
    The wealthy of Seacliff go to the Laurel Village Bryan’s market. If a huge store a block from Seacliff can’t duplicate what much smaller stores carry, they really need dope slaps in the corporate marketing department.
    LESSON: See what people in the area buy and sell what they want – what a concept! Apply ‘diversity’ to you product selection – an entire aisle of canned soup ain’t cutting the mustard!

  28. I live 2 blocks from the La Playa Safeway but I no longer shop there. It is a disgusting, poorly managed, understaffed safety hazard. i would gladly go all the way to 32nd Ave and Clement. Hopefully, the new Safeway won’t have the same issues as the aforementioned one.

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