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The shelves at Safeway on College and Claremont avenues are increasingly bare in the countdown to its closure on July 8. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

The Safeway store at the intersection of College and Claremont avenues on the Berkeley-Oakland border will close on July 8 for 12 months to undergo a major rebuild which has been more than seven years in the planning.

Neighborhood appeals against the project — which will create a bigger store with a public plaza, rooftop parking and a number of small retail outlets — caused the delay. Concerns centered on the scale of the proposed store.

Eventually the size was reduced, and the store was brought down to street level (from a proposed second-floor design); limits were agreed on the number and type of other retail outlets on site; Safeway was required to provide enough parking for the new development, and to pay for parking permits in perpetuity for nearby residents.  

A bird’s-eye view of plans for a new Safeway to be built on College Avenue at Claremont Avenue in Oakland, just over the Berkeley border. See the full set of plans. Source: Lowney Architecture

The project got the nod from Oakland officials and a hard-won community consensus in December 2012.

The new store is being designed by Lowney Architecture who also worked on revamping the Safeway in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto which was re-opened to the public in October 2012.

Meanwhile, as the store counts down to closing date, its shelves are increasingly bare of products.

Demolition on the store will begin in mid-August, according to Wendy Gutshall, Safeway’s manager for public affairs and government relations. Construction on the new building should be completed in the summer of 2014, she said.

Safeway is directing customers to two other nearby stores: the one on Sattuck Avenue near Rose and the one at 5130 Broadway, near Pleasant Valley Road in Oakland.

Safeway will post updates on the construction on its website

Oakland officials, neighbors sanction Safeway on College (12.20.13) 
Residents air concerns about College Ave. Safeway plans (12.17.12)
Safeway on College needs all-new design after mediation (11.15.12)
Breaking: Neighbors, Safeway agree on College Ave. store (11.13.12)
Op-Ed: Why I support plans for the Safeway on College (11.12.12)
Revamped Safeway opens in heart of Gourmet Ghetto (10.05.12)
Oakland Planning Commission approves Safeway plans (07.27.12)
Berkeley Council unites in opposing Safeway project (07.18.12)
Berkeley City Council to hold hearing on Safeway project (09.20.11)
Locals protest scale, traffic of proposed Rockridge Safeway (08.01.11)
Safeway buys Berkeley’s Chimes Pharmacy, to consolidate (07.12.11)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...