SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vons officially began construction on a new store in the Hillcrest/Mission Hills community with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 15, 2011. Councilman Todd Gloria, Mission Hills Town Council President Mark Fehlman, San Diego Food Bank President and CEO Scody Hage, and Brian Braaten and John Piva, Vons’ Vice Presidents of Real Estate and Retail Operations, were on hand to help break ground. The new store will provide more than 55,000 square feet of space – nearly three times the size of the former store – and will offer a full array of service departments, including bakery, deli, floral, meat and seafood, as well as expanded produce with organic offerings.
“The Vons team engaged with the community at the very beginning of the process”
Vons, located at the intersection of Washington and Dove streets, has served the Mission Hills and Hillcrest communities at this location for more than 50 years. Over that time, the neighborhoods around the store have evolved into some of the most sought-after urban neighborhoods in the city. The new store was designed to better meet the needs of its customers, and also to be in keeping with the community character of the neighborhoods that it will serve.
“This new Vons will be a significant improvement over conditions that existed with the previous store,” said Brian Braaten, Vice President of Real Estate for Safeway’s Vons Division. “The unique contemporary design, enhanced landscaping and improved street frontages will make Vons an asset that the neighborhood can be proud of.”
Redeveloping this site with a new store has been a long-standing goal of both Vons and the community. Plans for a new store were approved in 1997, but were put on hold when Vons responded to a request from the City of San Diego to explore the feasibility of mixed-use development on the site. Mixed-use on the site proved infeasible, so Vons went back to the drawing board with the design and permit process. As a result of years of effort on the part of Vons and the community, the plans for the new store at this site were approved with a unanimous vote of the San Diego City Council in November 2010.
“We are thankful that Vons was persistent in their efforts to get a project approved,” said Councilman Todd Gloria. “The new Vons will not only serve the community better, but will provide jobs and can be a catalyst for continued improvements along the Washington Street corridor.”
Early on, Vons made working with the community a priority. This ongoing communication helped to ensure that any concerns about the new project were addressed and that there was widespread support for the final design.
“The Vons team engaged with the community at the very beginning of the process,” said Mark Fehlman, chairman of the Mission Hills Town Council. “Their willingness to work with us as teammates rather than adversaries helped us move forward with a project that met the urban design goals of the community and had broad public support.”
Construction of the new store is anticipated to take approximately nine months with the store opening to the public in spring 2012.
ABOUT VONS www.vons.com
Kristen Byrne, (619) 682-3841