SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It appears the quest to keep a San Francisco Safeway open is now in full swing.
San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston introduced legislation Tuesday demanding Safeway reconsider its plan to close a grocery store in the Western Addition. Last week, the store announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell the land to a real estate company.
"Safeway has to wake up," Preston said.
More outrage over Safeway's announcement that they will close this Western Addition grocery store come March.
"The impact they're having on the community, I mean the way that this thing is done, it is just (EXPLETIVE)," said Paul Osaki, who is executive director of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. He said this will also directly impact those in Japantown when it comes to getting food, fresh produce, medicine and money -- leaving no store like this within at least a mile.
"Japantown has one of the highest density of seniors in the city," Osaki said.
On Sunday, those with the NAACP were also vocal about the impact of the planned closure on the Black community.
Preston introduced legislation calling on Safeway to reverse their plan to close the grocery store. Hoop dream? Maybe, but last year the supervisor did, with the help of the community, get CVS to reverse plans on closing a store in the Lower Haight.
"They need to understand that shutting down a grocery story on 60-day notice, in the heart of the Fillmore -- with a history of redevelopment displacement from that neighborhood -- with the number of seniors, who rely on this place it's just not okay," said Preston.
This Safeway does have a history of theft problems, the store even installing gates inside. But executives made no mention of that as a reason for the planned closure.
In an updated statement Safeway says, "Like all retailers, we continuously evaluate the performance of our stores, and occasionally it's necessary to close locations that aren't meeting financial expectations."
"Forty years, and you take money and profit off the neighborhood and community, and then you just leave, because it's not hitting your bottom line now? I mean, please, that's always the worst of corporate greed," says Osaki.
Safeway says, "despite our best efforts, the Webster store will close as planned." but there is still a hope that if that does happen some sort of grocery store can be guaranteed on the property going forward.
Safeway statement released Monday:
"The decision to close the Webster Street Safeway was not done without tremendous analysis, careful consideration, and thoughtful effort to keep our doors open. Like all retailers, we continuously evaluate the performance of our stores, and occasionally it's necessary to close locations that aren't meeting financial expectations. Despite our best efforts, the Webster store will close as planned around early March. All associates at the Webster Safeway will be re-assigned to another store in the San Francisco area."
Safeway's initial statement:
"Safeway recently entered into an agreement to sell 3.68 acres of land at Webster Plaza in the Fillmore district of San Francisco to Align Real Estate who will pursue a mixed-use development project to include housing and commercial retail space. As part of the sale, the Webster Safeway store is expected to close on or around early March.
Safeway has proudly served the Fillmore district for 40 years. All associates at the Webster Safeway will be re-assigned to another store in the San Francisco area, and we remain committed to serving San Francisco at our remaining 15 locations.
The developer purchasing the land at Webster Plaza is excited about this opportunity. San Francisco has struggled with housing shortages and Safeway sees this as an opportunity to positively impact the community and be part of a solution to bring much-needed additional housing to San Francisco."
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