Rockridge Shopping Center (Corner of Broadway and Pleasant Valley)

The RCPC board also heard a presentation from David Zystra of Safeway’s Property Development Centers division, who reported that the newest revised plans for redeveloping the Rockridge Shopping Center involve a slightly bigger expansion (130,000 sq. ft. versus 110,000 sq. ft in the previous proposal). They also include actual internal streets within the shopping center, rooftop parking instead of the subterranean lot previously proposed, and a new threestory structure on the corner of Pleasant Valley and Broadway, where the Chase Bank building is now.

Still to be determined is how or whether all of the functions now performed by the CVS drug store (e.g., hardware store, garden center, housewares store, toy store, school supplies store) will continue after the store closes. (CVS’s lease expires next July.)

While the new plans are much improved over Safeway’s previous proposal, they still show the center accessed almost exclusively by automobiles. RCPC boardmembers suggested several ways to create better transit access. One notable proposal would be to move the AC Transit 51A/51B turnaround from the Rockridge BART station to the interior of the shopping center, installing a transit station at the center. With a new signalized entrance off of Broadway, such a transit station might simplify and expedite the operation of the split line, while also eliminating a major annoyance to residents along Keith, Miles, and Forest. Safeway has also said it is in discussions with Kaiser-Oakland about adding the Rockridge Shopping Center to the itinerary of the shuttle that now runs between Kaiser and MacArthur BART. With that and a new 51 A/B stop, the Center would have much improved public transit access, potentially reducing its traffic impacts. Much will depend, however, on whether AC Transit is willing to have a transit station on private property.

Safeway will present its plans for the center to the Rockridge community at the July Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, July 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Rockridge Branch Library. The meeting may be moved to a larger venue to accommodate the expected crowd. Check the rockridge.org Web site or the library bulletin board for updates, or sign up for the RCPC e-newsletter to receive timely updates on this and other upcoming events. (E-mail info@rockridge.org to sign up for the e-news.)