July 11, 2006

Chronicle Covers Albertons' Closures

In an article published in its July, 11, 2006, edition, the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the impact of Albertsons' store closure on various communities, including San Leandro:

In San Leandro, when Albertsons on East 14th Street closed about a year ago, the community's first instinct was to grieve.

"Obviously when a grocery store closes, there's a lot of disappointment," said Hanson Hom, community development director for San Leandro. "A lot of residents like the choice of having two grocery stores."

Soon after the store closed, people started dumping their furniture and selling old cars on the site, Hom said. Police eventually put an end to that.

Now the main concern is what will happen to the property, which is in the hands of the Red Mountain Retail Group in Southern California, a company that specializes in recycling old shopping centers and supermarkets for new use. Eric Nelson, director of entitlement for Red Mountain, said he is working with another grocery chain to fill the space, although he would not name the retailer.

Officials in San Leandro are hoping that whatever ends up in the former Albertsons will fit it with the city's bigger plans to create a mixed-use transit development, with bus stops along East 14th Street. But Hom pointed out that because the store is an awkward size -- 23,000 square feet -- it has been difficult to find a replacement. Many retail chains lean toward the 50,000-square foot range. Smaller chains typically measure around 10,000 square feet.

"There's not a whole lot of retail chains looking for that size of a space," Hom said, adding that sometimes the best option is to simply tear down those types of buildings and start from scratch.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at July 11, 2006 7:39 AM | TrackBack
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