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Visions for Vacancies: Safeway Center

What would you like to see fill the vacant spaces at the new Safeway Center?

The new Safeway Center has four vacant spaces.  We would like to know what you would like to see here.

The Safeway Center is on San Pablo Avenue next to the El Cerrito del Norte BART station. So far only Pet Food Express and Supercuts have joined the shopping center, but there's a large block of retail space on the San Pablo side where there are four available spaces. I spoke with the broker and the spaces could be used for any type of business: restaurant, retail, service, etc...  They’re interested in learning what you would like to see here.

Submit your suggestions on Spotmojo using this link: http://www.spotmojo.com/openspot/safewayctr/

You can also use the code “SafewayCtr” on Spotmojo to find this spot.

El Cerrito Patch is working with Spotmojo to collect your suggestions for vacancies.  Spotmojo is a website where you can suggest the businesses you want where you live, work, or play. The suggestions are provided to new businesses and commercial real estate brokers to help new businesses find their ideal location. This gives you a voice in the businesses that open in your neighborhood and it helps local businesses succeed.

Mary Wives February 15, 2013 at 03:00 PM
A liquor store.
Sion Pascal February 15, 2013 at 04:20 PM
My wife and I were pulling for a "fresh and easy" till they all tanked.
Sion Pascal February 15, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Oh, and no more dollar stores or crap like that.
lisa martinengo February 15, 2013 at 04:31 PM
you're joking, right? There are enough of those up and down the Avenue. How about a locally owned shoe shop? I'd be glad not to always have to go to some big mall to look for decent variety of shoes and I don't mean sport shoes.
Borris Batanov February 15, 2013 at 05:44 PM
What about the empty "old" Safeway store down the street @ Moeser & San Pablo? Urban blight right across from a porn store, right across from where a 82 year-old woman was beaten to death.
John Stashik February 15, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Considering the crime problem at Safeway, possibly a jail.
Peter Loubal February 15, 2013 at 06:22 PM
The Peets across from the Plaza is getting too busy and El Cerrito could use another one. Obviously, Starbucks would block that, but is some sort of deal possible? Note that they have another store towards Home Depot. And while we're at it, Berkeley's cheese store should expand towards the North. Safeway should re-consider to what extent competition hurts, or whether it could actually help. Del Norte needs a good hangout, south of the BART station, and towards the trail rather than on San Pablo Avenue. We would shop at this Safeway store more often, if it were more attractive. I don't know exactly why, but the current "corner" isn't "our cup of coffee." Yes, some of us would want to have Berkeley closer, with walking distance.
Michael Hsueh February 15, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Charles Burgess covered this late last year. Basically, Safeway is still paying rent on that space and trying to sublease it out, but they won't sublease it to another grocery store since it will compete with this location. So there's only a few possibilities left: health club, which the owner doesn't want, or some type of big box store (e.g. dollar store). http://elcerrito.patch.com/articles/a-year-empty-new-tenant-in-wings-for-old-safeway
Sion Pascal February 15, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I'm going to try and get this topic back on track and steer it away from cynical remarks and giving in to fear. I think we all want our community to be a little cleaner,safer and I feel our local police department does a great job. You have crime everywhere and there's alway an ebb and flow to this kind of activity. Whether it is in ebb or flow I think depends on ones perspective. And yes, statistics. Now ,can we discuss positive and constructive options for this spot please? Thank you all. Oh, and me saying that I don't want anymore dollar stores is not me being cynical It's just my humble request.
Sion Pascal February 15, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Agreed. And the chipotle is really going to snarl things up even worse on that corner.
Lauren February 15, 2013 at 07:15 PM
I agree I'd hate to see another liquor store in that area.
Michael O'Connor February 15, 2013 at 07:18 PM
I can't think of anything that would draw people to San Pablo Ave anywhere near the BART traffic mess. Maybe helping a few existing business move into nicer digs so that some of the decrepit buildings lining that blighted street could be demolished.
Lauren February 15, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Part of the problem is the only real parking lot to use would be Safeway parking lot. I would hate to see another dollar store open up there. What about a game and card shop something like the one in Berkeley, There are a number of options. Petes coffee would be nice. Anything would be nice that was more upscale then liquor stores cigarette shops and dollar stores.
Barbara Bennett February 15, 2013 at 07:38 PM
How about a day care center. One that would keep and entertain kids for a few hours while Mom swhopped and got her hair done at Super Cuts.
Susan February 15, 2013 at 07:40 PM
oh Please, NOT another Dollar store or liquor store! I think that many people agree with me that the "new" Safeway is a mess. I personally NEVER go there anymore, it's like going to Costco without the discount prices. The parking lot is HORRIBLE. I will drive to Pinole Safeway or Albany Safeway just to avoid it. Yes, a Peet's would be nice. Something not chain store oriented! that is ALL El Cerrito has, anymore!
Robin M. Blind February 15, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Yeah...I'm with everyone who has commented about how the 'new' Safeway store blows! I DO shop there...but only in the very early morning...or if I'm desperate. I sure wish the civic-minded Safeway owners would relent and let Trader Joe's move in to the new disaster that was the 'old' Safeway...at Moeser across from the dirty books, movie and toy store. That vacancy is a drain on the ambiance of our fair City.
Mark Kay February 15, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I only go to pet food express, never Safeway. Don't care for the lack of organic produce.... Since there is a hair place, why not Pure Beauty, Ulta, Beauty Center or the like?
Alvin Mabuhay February 16, 2013 at 02:00 AM
El Cerrito has long lacked the existance of a quality pizza joint. Pizza Roma, Armadillo, Little Caesars...come on, we can do better! Something like Zachary's, or Blondies, with a sport's bar flare would be great. El Cerrito also has no steak house-none. You can get a rib eye at Macaroni Grill but that's about it.
Jay Clark February 16, 2013 at 04:23 AM
There are two good possibilities for the old Safeway store at Moeser: TJ Max or Home Goods.
Ken & Molly February 16, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Absolutely NO liquor store please!
Ken & Molly February 16, 2013 at 05:04 AM
I would like to see a nice, reasonably-priced family run Japanese restaurant, korean, indian or french restaurant.
Mary Wives February 16, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Very well. OK then, LIsa, Lauren & Molly...how 'bout a mortuary?
John Stashik February 16, 2013 at 08:37 AM
"Peet's would be nice." Excuse me, but Peet's is a chain store, a big one.
K Murphy February 16, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Catahoula Coffee Two.
Michael Hsueh February 16, 2013 at 09:03 PM
These are great ideas, but please submit them on Spotmojo using this link: http://www.spotmojo.com/openspot/safewayctr/ - this is where the commercial broker will be looking. Let me know if you run into any problems.
K Murphy February 18, 2013 at 09:26 PM
I'm curious...Is Spotmojo owned by AOL.com like the Patch? I use the Patch for LOCAL news and if Safeway wants to see the LOCAL ideas, they could easily look here on the El Cerrito Patch. I am wondering about the "push" for Spotmojo on ALL the (formerly) local Patches (now one giant and poorly interconnected Patch). I am wondering why would I want to register with Spotmojo to give them my ideas. Who are they? Will Safeway and other corporate entities really go to Spotmojo to get ideas on which types of stores to rent space to? My guess is that the main thing they will be looking at is whether the "rentee" can actually pay the rent, not the type of business.
Michael Hsueh February 19, 2013 at 04:35 AM
No, Spotmojo isn't owned by AOL. We're a startup based here, I'm the founder. I live in Kensington and my partner lives in Berkeley. We do work with many commercial brokers including the one that's managing this property. They do look at the suggestions and if there are enough suggestions for certain types of businesses they can use that to help attract those businesses to this location. Having all the suggestions in one place makes it easier for brokers and businesses so they don't have to go through various Patch articles or other sources. We categorize and count the suggestions into reports. Our thinking if we can get enough direct suggestions from the community then more people will get what they want when compared to the traditional approach, and businesses will be able to do more than just pay rent. And also, depending on the situation and property owner, most usually care quite a great deal what type of business they lease to.
kc March 23, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Saw a Subway coming soon sign between Pet Food Express and SuperCuts today...
Becca April 11, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Those are the same chain as Marshall's, which is one block north.

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