By Barbara Grady
Safeway Inc. has tentative plans to tear down its Albany store and reconstruct one twice the size with a parking lot underneath the building, according to an application to the Albany Planning and Zoning Commission.
The grocery chain, whose Solano Avenue store is a mainstay of Albany commerce and the only full service grocery store in the city, would build a Safeway supermarket to better match the needs of the local market, said Todd Paradis, head of real estate negotiations for the company’s Northern California properties, at a commission meeting last week. The current store is only 25,600 square feet and doesn’t carry some merchandize that Safeway sells elsewhere, he said.
However, the proposed 52,000 square foot retail store for Albany – which is scaled down from a plan Safeway proposed two years ago – is regarded by many of Safeway’s neighbors as too large for a lot that’s next to residential homes and families with kids.