Emunah Hauser writes:
The Shattuck Safeway community meeting Monday night at the East Bay JCC on Walnut Street was low-key. Visualizations of the latest plan were displayed around the room. Safeway representatives were available for questions, comments and conversation.
The plan will be submitted to the city by the end of the week.
- 17,000 sq ft expansion. Current store is 28,000 sq ft. Proposed plan is for the store to be 46,147 sq ft in total.
- No housing or additional retail.
- New access lobbies to the existing garage.
- Entrances are currently facing parking lot.
- Native species landscaping.
- 10 ft landscaped setback from Henry Street neighbors.
Berkeley City Council member Laurie Capitelli and some members of the North Shattuck Association advocated for more urban, pedestrian-oriented design. They asked that the Cafe/Deli entrance face onto Shattuck, and underscored the importance of Safeway becoming more a part of the lively, walkable North Shattuck commercial district beginning at Rose and Shattuck, rather than walled off and facing away. Design to encourage walking and biking patrons was an oft-repeated community value Monday night.
The Cafe/Deli is to be located in the Northeast corner of the building. Currently, the plan is for the entrance and outdoor seating to face the parking lot.
Safeway representatives seemed receptive to rethinking the Shattuck-facing stretch with this in mind. Security is a challenge to a Shattuck-facing entrance — managing security is much easier with all entrances facing one direction.
Transparent glass windows along the Shattuck-facing East wall are already included in the plan with the concept of making the store more inviting to pedestrians approaching the store from the South. Capitelli and others voiced their support for this design feature.
The current plan allows for the store to remain open throughout renovations.
Emunah Hauser is a publicist and writer for sustainability and community. You might also know her as a host at Saul’s Restaurant and Deli, or have seen her busking at Berkeley Farmer’s Markets. She feels very fortunate to live in a mixed-use building near public transit in Berkeley.