625 Monterey Boulevard Safeway

In the works for over seven years, the plans to overhaul and supersize the outdated Sunnyside Safeway at 625 Monterey Boulevard could finally be approved this week.  As proposed, the store will be expanded from 19,000 to 45,000 square feet, building across the store’s existing surface parking lot and adding parking upon the roof.

625 Monterey Boulevard Safeway Rendering: Roof

The expansion project will incorporate a pharmacy, the first in the neighborhood commercial area, and new departments will include meat and seafood, floral, a bakery and an organic produce section.

625 Monterey Boulevard Safeway Rendering

Additionally, a Starbucks kiosk will be incorporated inside the store if the formula retailer is approved.

625 Monterey Boulevard Rendering: Starbucks

And while the store currently closes at midnight, Safeway is requesting permission to eventually stay open until 2am, a point of contention between the immediate neighbors and neighborhood and which will be open to debate.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by R

    Love it. That Safeway has been rough for years.

  2. Posted by Hank

    Do this please to all the Safeway markets in the city. Surface level outdoor parking is awful to look at and a waste of space.

  3. Posted by Snark17

    How about the Bernal Safeway next, and add condos on top– that store is so sketchy and such a waste of prime space.

    • Posted by zig

      Isn’t that where the 30th st in-fill BART station and transit village is going? Oh wait sorry I made that up

      • Posted by Brad

        A 30th St. BART station is desperately needed. Sadly, BART would rather spend its money on the Oakland airport connector (which would never see as much traffic as a 30th St. station would).

        P.S. Yes, the Mission St. Safeway is shockingly bad.

  4. Posted by Futurist

    Very nice modern, clean solution. We need more of this.

    • Posted by sfw

      LOL. Careful there John King. Xanadu this is not. It is still a big box style supermarket.

      • Posted by Futurist

        Ah……. Yea, if you say so: Mr ultra liberal I’m so cool and hipster San Franciscan that nothing except hand made local crap is important in life and important to my status. And you all should live just as I do.

        Then don’t shop there.

      • Posted by NoeNeighbor

        Yeah its a big box style supermarket but it looks much better than average. And, it turns out, that there are families in San Francisco who need to buy food and other supplies and bring them home. This will work well for them.

        • Posted by Futurist

          Yes, it does work well for them and I support it and the design.

        • Posted by sfw

          Of course, it is what it is. I was just poking fun at Futurist’s super serious architectural dissection. “Hmyeeehhs, it would go well with some fine beluga caviar, modern, clean lines, huff huff huff huff.” It’s a Safeway. And yes it does look better.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Oh, you haven’t seen me get into super serious architectural discussion on this one. Just yet.:)

  5. Posted by Name

    Didn’t safeway just get bought out by a liquidator?

  6. Posted by Hi

    Any news on the La Playa Safeway in the outer Richmond?

  7. Posted by john

    I hope they approve this. This Safeway is less than a 10 minute walk from my house, but it’s too ghetto for my liking, so I usually take an extra 15 minutes and walk to the one in Diamond Heights (thankfully the beautiful walk through Glen Canyon helps compensate for the inconvenience).

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Wait. Did you say that you walk to the grocery? I thought that was unpossible. Doesn’t grocery shopping require a car and copious parking like this project provides? 🙂

      • Posted by NoeNeighbor

        If you are shopping for a family for a week it does.

        • Posted by lyqwyd

          I have a family and shop for the week, it doesn’t require a car, although it is a convenience

        • Posted by Brian M

          However did families SURVIVE during the pre-car era?

        • Posted by Fishchum

          I’m surprised people are still actually going to Safeway. Are all these people unaware that Safeway delivers?

      • Posted by Chris

        If you buy your groceries daily or every other day and you live within walking distance to a supermarket (and not a convenience store or some small high priced “speciality” market with a limited offering of goods), then you can certainly do this. But, if like most people, you are not within walking distance to a supermarket and you don’t want to spend extra hours on the one or two days you have off during the week running around to a lot of little stores to buy a few items (and paying more in the process and not finding what you want), then you will drive or (or use a ZIP car, which I what I do). Some people may take a cab, though this gets expensive and adds extra time to a chore that already takes enough time.

        In other words, live your lifestyle (which no one is criticizing) and let others do what works for them.

  8. Posted by SFSquee

    And the old CalaFoods/IGA on South Van Ness near 24th continues to sit empty for…3 years now? Why does it take 7 years to improve an old Safeway and now 3+ years for an old Cala to sit empty?

    [Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that soon after Fresh & Easy was approved to take over the 1245 South Van Ness site, Fresh & Easy’s Parent Company Called It Quits In The U.S.]

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      … because it’s San Francisco? Yeah, because it’s San Francisco, that’s my final answer!

    • Posted by mission dweller

      Yeah, who owns that property now? We would LOVE to have a grocery store re-open there.

  9. Posted by curmudgeon

    ^ More than 3 years…I’ve been in the neighborhood for 4. It’s empty because it WAS supposed to be a Fresh n Easy, but they went bust. Haven’t heard any further developments, but I WISH!

  10. Posted by Logan

    The Safeway’s around the city have huge potential in terms of land/real estate development. I would love to see all of them develop with underground parking, supermarket on ground level and residential on top (density would vary based on location).

    [Editor’s Note: Agreed.]

  11. Posted by alberto rossi

    While a major improvement, I’m not as enthusiastic as some of you. It *still* is a surface parking lot, at least on the western edge. There could have been plenty of room to add housing, if Safeway were interested in that sort of thing, which apparently they are not.

    • Posted by Futurist

      Then they’re not. They’re in the food selling business, not the housing business.
      Nothing complex about that to me.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Hmmm… any retailer that big manages and maintains a large portfolio of real estate. They staff people to buy, sell, lease, insure, and trade property. They’d be silly (and negligent) to rule out opportunities to maximize profit if it requires branching away from retail. Even their NNN leases come with unique terms that can be leveraged in negotiations. Seems pretty complex to me.

        Lets see what happens to the Castro Safeway site.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Agreed – there’s a quite logical and persuasive business argument for them to spin off their owned real estate into a development subsidiary, and build mutlifamily residential with ground-floor supermarkets on their urban sites. (The store premises would be leased to the grocery-operations arm.)

          • Posted by Brian M

            I had actually read somewhere that this is how Safeway was structured? Not sure with what would change now that the investment fund (the same fund that owns Albertsons) is in charge.

        • Posted by Futurist

          Totally ridiculous to push your vision on them. Calling them negligent? Really?

          They could build housing and they could choose not too. Up to them, and not to the citizens.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            It isn’t my vision, just capitalism and how it relates to corporate responsibility. The negligence I mentioned was with respect to Safeway’s stockholders. Not at all ridiculous from the perspective of the company’s owners.

    • Posted by Chris

      They are a grocery store, not a real estate developer. If a real estate developer wants to build housing and partner them, then they may be willing to do it. There are plenty examples of Safeways (and other grocery chains) throughout the country (and also in SF) that have been incorporated into housing developments.

      It’s not the job of Safeway (or any other grocery retailer) to be interested in expanding into a new line of business (i.e. building housing). If you think it is “negligent,” then start your own real estate development company and make a pitch to Safeway–you might be able to persuade them.

      • Posted by R

        And let’s not forget that while they have a handful of valuable properties in urban cores, a lot of their stores are just grocery stores in seas of other single story stores.. not especially valuable.

    • Posted by Heather

      Yes, please, housing! Damn it!

  12. Posted by Willow

    This will do well. Glen Park doesn’t have great choices when it comes to grocery stores. Diamond Heights and Bernal Safeway’s are OK and ‘close-ish’ while Canyon Market is small and seriously overpriced. Long overdue…Also, glad they passed on the obligatory condos and provided for ample parking.

  13. Posted by modernedwardian

    having been in a few truly enormous safeways, (the ones in menlo park, napa, and santa rosa?), i’m reminded of the springsteen song ’57 channels and nothin’ on’. a ginormous box filled with unhealthy processed food choices, expired factory-farmed meat, sad looking and too often tasteless produce, and rows of white bread; though i admit their strawberry shortcake is the best office sized dessert when strawberries are in season. (i shop at costco and trader joe’s for bulk, and a farm stand near work (all by car). add some mix of the weekly bernal, glen park, castro, and ferry building farmers markets and the neighborhood market on church at 30th and rarer drewes meats, whole foods, and the bernal safeway (by foot or the J church) for more produce, a steak, milk, coffee and missing pantry items or cravings). thanksgiving required using too many of them for the ingredients for dinner for 18. this city could learn a lot from montreal’s marches/public markets.

    this certainly looks much better then what is there now and plays well with the block’s other masses. and the expanded hours can only be good. but i still find that sad. i guess with more space they might eventually work on what’s in the stores as opposed to just the aisles, lighting, and product placement. as futurist says, they’re supposed to be in the business of selling food.

  14. Posted by Sarah

    Agreed. They can change the outside all they want, but if they don’t improve what they carry, I won’t shop there. And I can walk to this store. In fact, I’ve been able to walk to a Safeway from my last three homes and I never shopped there because I don’t eat that processed junk and their “organic” produce is overpriced and mistreated. They don’t even carry Clover dairy!

    I worry about how this will affect traffic at the intersection. Maybe we can finally get a turn light at Foerster and Monterey?

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      They don’t stock Clover?! Anyone who shops there must be an inbred troglodyte, for all the stupidity of shopping someplace that doesn’t stock Clover!

      Puh-lease. I can get everything from Pacific organic products, like soy milk and soups, to Seventh Generation detergent there, at prices far less than Whole Foods or Trader Joes – plus get good prices on beer and wine (and TP and toothpaste) that’s the same wherever you shop. If you want to go elsewhere and pay more, that’s fine but that’s your choice, not Safeway’s fault.

    • Posted by 4h clubber

      Just bought some Clover milk at the Diamond Heights Safeway last night. I neglected to buy the Clover yogurt or cheese they had in stock.

  15. Posted by Heather

    My question = is this EVER going to happen? Also, must they just put a gigantic Safeway without some more creative mixed-use housing on top? San Francisco has this major housing crisis and we’re devoting this much real estate to a huge box store?

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