Land Use Update: Safeway, Merrill Gardens

Saturday, February 8, 2014

College Avenue Safeway Project, College & Claremont: Those who live near the Safeway on College site are already aware that construction has begun on the foundation for the new Safeway building. RCPC and the other three community groups that negotiated building and construction plans with the company will meet monthly with Safeway to discuss construction progress and any issues involving construction activities. If you live near the store and see or hear anything you think Safeway needs to know about (and perhaps do something about), please contact RCPC at 869-4200 or info@rockridge.org and let us know. We will try to include a monthly update on construction activities in The Rockridge News and on the RCPC website at rockridge.org.

Rockridge Shopping Center Rebuild Project
Broadway and Pleasant Valley Avenue
As predicted in December, the lawsuit challenging this project has been dismissed, and work is moving forward on construction plans for the project. According to Safeway, closure and demolition of the CVS store (and the building to its southwest that holds a collection of shops) will probably begin early this summer. Construction of Phase I of the project, including the new Safeway and nursery as well as the new Chase Bank building and a new Boston Market restaurant next to the quarry pond, will start later in the summer. The eastern half of the site will be closed off once demolition and construction start. Watch for further updates.

Merrill Gardens at Rockridge
West side of Broadway North of 51st Street
The formal application for this senior housing and commercial mixed-use project has been submitted to the city. Planner Mike Rivera (mrivera@oaklandnet.com, 238-6417) is assigned to the project. The environmental review will begin once the city decides the application is complete.

While the project has generally been favorably received by neighbors, the first problem has been identified. The loading area, which includes garbage pick-up by Waste Management, is next to a residential duplex to the west of the project. This would create an early morning noise nuisance, and a potential pedestrian and bicycle safety hazard as trucks back in or out of the loading area. It is hoped this problem can be quickly resolved, as have similar problems for other local projects.