The scuttlebutt in the Richmond is that plans to reopen the deserted Albertson's lot at 32nd and Clement Streets might finally be moving forward. According to accounts in the Richmond Review newspaper and the Richmond SF blog, representatives of mega-pharmacy chain CVS Caremark were on hand at a well-attended community meeting in late June to discuss their planned tenancy at the 36,500-foot site.
Originally, after Albertson's abrupt departure in 2006, the site was leased by Fresh & Easy, a grocery chain with sites in Southern California and other locations. Fresh & Easy also had plans to open a store in the Bayview, but pulled back on all of their planned expansions after the economy headed south in 2008. CVS plans to occupy about half of the site, and has the option of taking over the entire lease if Fresh & Easy fails to open. CVS representatives said they had designed their store to stand alone, and would seek another grocery tenant if the co-location with Fresh & Easy doesn't work out.
Neighbors seem open to the plan, for the most part, but there are concerns about CVS' plans to be open 24 hours and to sell alcohol. Jim Argo, president of the Lincoln Park Homeowners Association says his group will fight the 24-hour plan.
For our part, we aren't really sure the Richmond needs another boring pharmacy, since you can't walk more than a few blocks in this neighborhood without tripping over a Walgreen's. Still, the big empty eyesore at 32nd and Clement is kind of a downer, and goodness knows the neighborhood needs a supermarket. It's just that we were really, really hoping for a Trader Joe's. Anyone out there ever been to a Fresh & Easy? Tell us about it in the comments.
· Pharmacy Hopes to Open at Site of Closed Clement Market [Richmond Review]
· Update on Plans for CVS Pharmacy at 32nd and Clement [Richmond SF]
· Fresh & Easy Going to Bayview; Tenderloin Still Cold-Shouldered [Curbed SF Archives]
· Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets [Corporate site]