Safeway meets to discuss Town Center
by Peter Burke
Feb 08, 2013 | 2997 views | 12 12 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Scotts Valley Mayor Randy Johnson speaks to a group of more than 50 people at the Scotts Valley Community Center on Wednesday, Feb. 6, about a plan that would have Safeway building the long-awaited town center in Scotts Valley.
Scotts Valley Mayor Randy Johnson speaks to a group of more than 50 people at the Scotts Valley Community Center on Wednesday, Feb. 6, about a plan that would have Safeway building the long-awaited town center in Scotts Valley.
slideshow
About 50 community members listen as Deborah Karbo, vice president of development for Safeway development arm Property Development Centers, answers questions about the proposed Town Center project.
About 50 community members listen as Deborah Karbo, vice president of development for Safeway development arm Property Development Centers, answers questions about the proposed Town Center project.
slideshow
Safeway and its development arm, Property Development Centers, presented general ideas and asked for input from the community regarding the Town Center project as part of a public meeting Jan. 29 at the Scotts Valley Community Center.

In December, PDC gained exclusive rights to negotiate with Scotts Valley to build the Town Center mixed-use development on 12 nearly-empty acres between Mount Hermon Road, Skypark and Kings Village Road.

“We initially had low expectations, because Scotts Valley had a Safeway,” Mayor Randy Johnson said to about 50 people at the meeting. “But it’s not your mother’s Safeway anymore, because the Safeway brand has transformed in some ways.”

Johnson said the city has two goals when building the Town Center, which has been in the works since 2000.

First, he noted Scotts Valley is dependent on sales tax revenue that the Town Center will certainly bring — second, he said the center must create a “sense of place” that Scotts Valley residents can enjoy and call their own.

Councilman Dene Bustichi said the Town Center specific plan includes developer guidelines that dictate a specific look and feel along, and so far Safeway has not resisted.

In addition, Safeway pays cash to build such centers.

Two previous developers, Stanbery in 2010 and the Pratt Co. in 2011, allowed development agreements with the city to expire because of economic concerns.

Some people in attendance voiced concerns about the traditional strip-mall style of Safeway shopping centers of the past.

Deborah Karbo, PDC’s vice president of Development and Thomas Fitzpatrick, a PDC development presented a PowerPoint overview of the many Safeway shopping center projects PDC has completed in the past several years, including the recent upgrade of the Safeway shopping center on Mission Street in Santa Cruz and a triangular Safeway in Oakland that fits an irregular street corner.

Fitzpatrick said PDC promotes “simple, elegant design” as part of its philosophy when designing shopping centers.

No specific plans or renderings have yet been designed for Scotts Valley, but Safeway plans to construct a 50,000-square-foot anchor store and build about 150,000 additional square feet of retail and housing, said Fitzpatrick. The current Scotts Valley Safeway is about 34,000 square feet.

“We can get a lot of tenants that normally wouldn’t come into your community,” said Fitzpatrick.

Karbo echoed him, saying that the retail space will be leased dictated by the market to local and national retailers.

“A grocery store is a daily need, we have a lot of retailers who want to follow,” she said.

Karbo also said PDC would find a new tenant for Safeway’s current location — which is still under lease — in Scotts Village shopping center with a store still to be determined.

“I don’t see it being backfilled by a tenant that’s bad for the center,” she said.

PDC took feedback from the audience, which included suggestions to build senior housing, a fountain or town square and using environmentally friendly standards. Parking was also a major question, as was the impact on existing Scotts Valley businesses.

Karbo said the company is doing its due-diligence and will soon begin market research to determine what type of stores might be interested in locating in the area.

The company will host other public outreach meetings that have yet to be scheduled.

For information: www.PDCenters.com

To comment, email editor Peter Burke at peter@pressbanner.com, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.

Comments
(12)
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Offensive to SV
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February 21, 2013
I find it offensive that this proposal for a Safeway strip shopping center is being pitched as our Town Center? Is this project really the best thing for Scotts Valley and is it really anything resembling the Town Center project that we were all pitch over the years?
Saw It Coming
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February 20, 2013
You lay down with dogs, you get fleas. You lay down with PDC, you get strip malls anchored by Safeway, full of businesses that won't compete with Safeway, a bunch of national chain tenants (Jamba Juice, Panda Express, etc), 10% of the space for independent remnants of local business (Think of a museum display: "Look, kids. That's what 'Local Character' looked like!"). Don't worry, it'll be custom made to have that Scotts Valley Look; They'll stick some redwood ginger bread on the beige stucco.
Jennings Miller
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February 20, 2013
Actually, some high quality chain businesses would be great for Scotts Valley. Sure, a nice mix of locally-owned businesses are a must. But remember those chain stores employee local residents and their quality and consistency lures shoppers.
strip mall owner
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February 22, 2013
sounds like a current strip mall owner is not happy with the competition. If you do not like it pony up the money and build it yourself its a free market out there
Sounds like a duck
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February 12, 2013
As the saying goes if it walks like a duck and it sounds like a duck it is probable a duck. This sure sounds like a strip mall with a grocery store as the main attraction.

According to this article "Safeway plans to construct a 50,000-square-foot anchor store and build about 150,000 additional square feet of retail and housing" so not counting the library Safeway will take up 1/4 of the entire town center including housing and all other shops.

finally money
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February 12, 2013
It sounds like this may be a developer who actually has the money to build the Town Center with out reaching into the pockets of the city.

I for one welcome this and i have read the specific plan in detail it protects the city from allowing a strip mall to be built. Unless the Council amends the specific plans Safe way has to build what this community wants.

I want to spend my money in Scotts Valley not San Jose.
Strength Inviolate
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February 11, 2013
I moved here to get away from the strip malls in Arizona and Las Vegas. The strength of small towns is in their local economy which is rooted in community. This will be a strip mall and a bullet to the back of the cranium that is this precious community.

Town Center or Strip
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February 11, 2013
Town Center or Strip mall?

Funny how things change. This sounds a lot less like a Town Center than a strip shopping center. Just for kicks I took a look at the Town Center Specific Plan and the Vision Poster on the City web site. I can’t see how a huge grocery store fits the bill. The vision poster emphases small shops and lots of open space. It has limited traffic and from the picture I can’t see any shopping carts or high traffic as one would expect with a grocery store of this size. I really want a town center to be proud of, a place that marks the center of our great city. I don’t understand how using this space to create another Scotts Valley strip mall accomplishes any of this. Can’t we do better than this?
I am so Happy
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February 11, 2013
I am very happy to see this move foward. The town center will be helped dramticly by being anchored by Safway they are ression proof and will garentee a scssesful center and we will finally get a new and modern grocery store.

I am looking foward to shopping in new stores and keeping my tax dollars locally. I was born in Scotts Valley and love this community yea it has changed and not always for the good but to me this is what Scotts Valley needs.

Change is hard for some people and attacking those who work so hard for so little is common in a blog such as this but the majority of us are 110% behind building the town center and keeping our taxes the lowest in the county.

build it and i will come
Theryl McCoy
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February 09, 2013
People of Scotts Valley, you must wake up! This downtown center is going to be the anchor of your entire community. Currently you suffer a major identity crisis: Are you part of San Jose? Santa Cruz? Santa Cruz Mountains? Who are you? This is an important process here.

When Safeway says they want to make 25% of your downtown a Safeway store, it sounds to me like it might look like another Almar Center. If this will be the case then congratulations you are part of San Jose.

Ironically San Jose has one of the most forward thinking unofficial downtowns in the bay area.... Santana Row. This mixed-use residential/commercial is the wave of the future and I think something similar would be a great match for Scott's Valley.

Now is the time citizens of Scott's Valley! Don't let the current money needs by the city coffers determine your future character. Live the dream!
Small Town Charm
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February 09, 2013
I guess Scotts Valley is just going to be all about high-density housing and shopping centers. What a shame. It used to be so nice.
Just lovely
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February 08, 2013
A Town Center focused around a 50,000 squar feet Safeway store. How quaint. Almost Norman Rockwell like. Cut the political posturing, this isn’t a plan for a town center it is a sell out because the City Council failed to deliver what they have been promising. Bustichi and Johnson should be ashamed.


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