Monday, April 20, 2009

Social Safeway Set for Demolition Next Month


Following last year's announcement that Georgetown's old "Social Safeway" at 1855 Wisconsin Ave, NW would disappear (temporarily) in 2009, now executives at the supermarket chain say the aging facility will meet the wrecking ball as soon as it closes up shop once and for all on April 26th.

"Demolition will start immediately [following the store closing]," said Safeway spokesman Craig Muckle. "We plan to have it done for a March 2010 opening." In the meantime, shoppers at Safeway are stocking up on discounted food as if there were light snow in the forecast.

But fear not, valued customers. As stated above, the new and improved Social Safeway is planned to open next year with a 21st century design - courtesy of Torti Gallas Architects - and a new floorplan that will largely abolish the current store’s massive and congestion-prone parking lot. By reclaiming part of its underutilized footprint, the from-scratch storefront will bare more resemblance to CityVista’s so-called “Sexy Safeway” rather than it’s former incarnation. Muckle tells DCmud that the new building’s design is the result of a lengthy approval process that the company underwent with locals and DC authorities.

“We had a number of visits with [the Old Georgetown Board] and [the US Commission of] Fine Arts. We went back a couple of times as there were some revisions requested along the way. But I don’t recall there being anything wildly out of line or that needed to be redrawn significantly,” he said. “We did spend a lot of time with the ANC, so I think we can say safely that the ongoing conversation really made the process much less challenging.”

In the meantime, renovation procedures take a much more low-key tactic at the "Not So Safeway" at 1747 Columbia Road, NW. That store will remain open when it goes under the knife (as early as early next month) and, although the store will forgo demolition, the end result will be much the same as in Georgetown.

“Under the current situation, [we couldn’t close the store]. We would have liked to, but if we’re not able to that, we’ll do the in-place remodel. It will be a complete interior renovation and decorum upgrade,” said Muckle. “It will look like…our other upgraded Safeways, of which there are now nine or ten in the area.”

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will parking be underneath the store, like at the new Mt. Vernon Square location?

Anonymous said...

i dont know about their comments about the columbia rd store. Ive never heard of it referred to as the Not So Safeway. but i have as the Salmonella Safeway. either way its disgusting. and it sounds like they are just going to give it a spit shine. I dont see how you could possibly do a worthwhile renovation while remaining open. I and many friends who live ONE BLOCK from it always avoid it in favor of Harris Teeter. If they want to get in on all the patronage they are losing they need to do more than rearrange. They also need to get a LOT more organics. Their bread selection sucks. nothing there without enriched flour. I dont trust their deli or fish at all. and it has that nasty smell that 3rd rate groceries develope. Also needs a major curb appeal overhaul. I thought they were supposed to expand into the neighboring storefronts that are being vacated. the foot locker and citibank etc. what gives? why half ass at such a prime location

Anonymous said...

Low-key "tact"??

Jesus. Better try that dictionary next time, guy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's "tack", as in the nautical maneuver, not "tact," , and though I'm sure you're quoting Muckle here, it's "decor", not "decorum". Interesting that everyone's using politeness-related malapropisms.

Hunter on Apr 21, 2009, 3:33:00 PM said...

Actually, it was originally intended to be "tactic."

But thanks for the hate anyway, Anon3. We love you, too.

Anonymous said...

And how will the parking be congestion-free? The problem with the current lot is that it has weird flow patterns (a curb separates one row, and the other two don't circulate well).

Anyway, as for renovations while open, the social safeway was renovated a few years back while remaining open. True, all they did was freshen the deli and meat counters (and overall appearance), while totally rearranging the aisles. But it's possible to do.

Jacques on Apr 22, 2009, 12:14:00 AM said...

Parking will be in a two-story parking structure behind the building.

So, essentially, the new store will be where the current parking lot is, and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jacques.

Not sure that will make the parking better. It's not like negotiating the Whole Foods lot up the street is a barrel of laughs.

Nonetheless, can't wait for the reopening.

Fred L said...

I always heard to the Columbia Heights Safeway referred to as the "Soviet Safeway" because of the long lines, but then that doesn't much distinguish it from all the others.

Ever notice that every Safeway is always understaffed for check-out, no matter how few shoppers there are?

Anonymous said...

Let's get our Safeway monikers straight here:

Social Safeway = Georgetown
Soviet Safeway = 17th Street (Dupont)
UnSafeway = Capitol Hill

Everyone clear now?!

Craig M. Muckle said...

In response to one of the Anonymous posters, Safeway was very interested in expanding its Columbia Rd. store, but it ultimately was not feasible.

It should be noted that we have effectively and very successfully renovated a vast majority of our company's stores while maintaining operations (excluding new ground-up construction). Our stores on Capitol Hill, Piney Branch Rd. NW and Alabama Ave. SE are just three of those examples.

As an aside, I did use the word "decor," but I suspect the writer simply misheard what I said.

Anonymous said...

Then, of course, there's the Secret Safeway. In keeping with its spirit, I can't disclose its location.

Anonymous said...

I've always heard the Adams Morgan Safeway referred to as the Salvadorean Safeway.

Ruff N on Apr 23, 2009, 8:01:00 PM said...

What about taking the wrecking ball to the "Soviet" Safeway on
17th & Corcoran?

grapkoski on Apr 26, 2009, 7:54:00 PM said...

I wish the Geriatric Safeway (Watergate) would get at least a spit shine. It seems like every time I go there they have less and cost more. If it weren't for the deli, I would shop exclusively at Trader Joe's.

Anonymous said...

The Petworth Safeway is the one on Georgia Ave near Howard U.

Anonymous said...

Parking for the new Georgetown Safeway will be beneath and behind the store. The Supermarket itself will be on the second floor (as viewed from Wisconsin) A ramp on the south side of the building will take vehicles up to a surface lot at the rear of the store, or alternately, customers can park underneath the store (like at the Sexy Safeway). Small shops will line Wisconsin Avenue at the sidewalk in front of the lower level parking level.

Atticus Sawatzki on Sep 19, 2009, 12:06:00 PM said...

The reason that the store was set back from the street in the first place was to comply with the no liquor sales near schools law, which has, sadly, been since repealed.

 

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