Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vacant Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Store in Pacifica, California Has the City's Mayor in a Pickle

Pacifica, California Mayor Jim Vreeland at the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market location at 5550 Coast Highway in the city's Pedro Point neighborhood, where the mayor just happens to live, in October 2008. As you can see in the photograph, the store is near completion at the time. It was fully completed not long after, and has been sitting vacant ever since. (See here.) [Photo credit: Pacifica Tribune.]

Northern California Market Special Report - San Francisco Bay Area

In his most recent column - Sunday, July 18, 2010: When it Comes to Northern California - its Competitors are Rome Burning and Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is Nero Playing the Fiddle - our 'The Insider' columnist wrote about Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's long-postponed launch into Northern California.

In the column, 'The Insider' mentioned and discussed the Fresh & Easy store at 5550 Coast Highway in Pacifica, California's Pedro Point neighborhood, and how the fact it's been sitting vacant for nearly two years has and is putting the Mayor of Pacifica, Jim Vreeland - who not only lives in the Pedro Point neighborhood but used the fact he helped lure Tesco's Fresh & Easy to the city and neighborhood as part of his political campaign, offering it as an example of his efforts to bring a grocery store to a part of the city that's been in need of such a store for many years - in a bit of a pickle with his constituents and neighbors.

Here's what 'The Insider' said (below in italics) in his July 18 column:

The situation is similar with many residents in the Pedro Point neighborhood in Pacifica, California, where a completed and unconfirmed but reported on and verified by Fresh & Easy Buzz Fresh & Easy store location sits in a new shopping center, of which the store is supposed to be the anchor. The building, with Fresh & Easy colors painted on it, has been sitting empty since early 2009. Fresh & Easy Buzz has been communicating with numerous residents of the Pacifica neighborhood for over two years - and let's just say Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has little-to-zero goodwill among those folks. [You can read more about the Pedro Point, Pacifica Fresh & Easy store and the issue here.]

The city's mayor, Jim Vreeland, also lives in the Pedro Point neighborhood, and was instrumental in getting Tesco to locate a Fresh & Easy store at the location. He's been frustrated over the lack of information from Tesco because, when asked when the Fresh & Easy store will open, he has no answer to offer. Interestingly though, a number of neighborhood residents told me recently that they've given up so much on the Pedro Point Fresh & Easy store's ever opening, that the mayor these days gets few questions about it when he's out making his rounds. Not a ringing endorsement for Tesco's communication with the Mayor of Pacifica though.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has to date not confirmed the Pacifica store as one of its sites in Northern California. The coastal city of Pacifica is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, just a few miles from San Francisco.

However, Fresh & Easy Buzz first reported on the Pedro Point neighborhood Fresh & Easy store location in June 2008, in this story - June 24, 2008: Upcoming New Markets News: Tesco to Locate Yet Another Fresh & Easy Store in San Francisco Bay Area; 21 Thus Far By Fresh & Easy Buzz's Reporting.

Additionally, in October 2008, representatives of Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market met with residents of the Pedro Point Neighborhood Association to address concerns and answer questions about the planned Fresh & Easy store at 5550 Coast Highway. [See - October 7, 2008: Fresh & Easy Corporate Reps to Meet With Pedro Point Pacifica, CA Neighborhood Residents to Address Concerns Over Store to Open in 2009]

It was also in October 2008 when Pacifica Mayor Jim Vreeland went public about the Fresh & Easy store in his neighborhood in Pacifica. [See - October 13, 2008: Pacifica Riptide & Fresh & Easy Buzz Join Together to Offer Pacifica, California Citizen Opinions On the Fresh & Easy Store Coming to the City. [Read more here.] As you can see in the photographs at the link, the store is nearly completed in October 2008.

In other words, despite the fact Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has never confirmed the location, if you're a Fresh & Easy Buzz reader, or live in Pacifica, the vacant Fresh & Easy store at 5550 Coast Highway in Pacifica's Pedro Point neighborhood is about the best kept secret since the "rumor" about Lindsay Lohan going to jail.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy has announced and confirmed 37 store locations in Northern California - 19 in the Sacramento/Vacaville region and 18 in the San Francisco Bay Area, doing so over two and a half years ago.

However, Fresh & Easy Buzz has uncovered and reported on an additional 14 future Fresh & Easy store sites in Northern California. The 14 include the Pacifica location. [See our Northern California Fresh & Easy Store List.]

In his Sunday column, 'The Insider' was spot-on about the stalled Fresh & Easy store in Pacifica causing the city's mayor grief with his constituents: This morning, a Fresh & Easy Buzz reader who lives in Pacifica e-mailed us a Tuesday, July 20 post from "Jeff's Big Mouth," a local blog written by Jeffrey W Simons, that reports on and comments about the political, business and cultural environment and issues in the city of Pacifica, including focusing on the performance of Mayor Vreeland and the Pacifica City Council.

In his post the blogger takes Mayor Vreeland to task over the vacant, white elephant Fresh & Easy store at 5550 Coast Highway in the city's Pedro Point neighborhood, although he correctly points out it's Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market that's responsible for not opening the store, and not the mayor.

Read what local blogger "Jeff's Big Mouth" has to say on the topic and issue here.

Since Mayor Vreeland has no idea when Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market plans to open the store in his neighborhood, he's in a bit of a pickle when it comes to answering questions on the topic from not only his constituents (and Jeff) - but also from his neighbors in Pacifica's Pedro Point neighborhood.

The Fresh & Easy Buzz 2010 Northern California Market Special Report Series:

July 18, 2010: When it Comes to Northern California - its Competitors are Rome Burning and Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is Nero Playing the Fiddle

July 14, 2010: Tony Bennett Has Nothing on Whole Foods Market When it Comes to Loving San Francisco...That City By the Bay

July 6, 2010: Walmart Looking for Store Sites in Northern California For 20,000 Sq-Ft Neighborhood Market by Walmart Prototype Store

June 28, 2010: Smart & Final to Open its New Format SmartCo Foods Stores in California and Arizona

June 26, 2010: Tesco Planning to Announce in July When First Northern California Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores to Open

June 14, 2010: Newly-Named Whole Foods Market CO-CEO Walter Robb Comes Full Circle With the Opening of the New Store in Mill Valley CA

June 5, 2010: Sprouts Farmers Market Opens First Northern California Store in Sunnyvale; Strikes Up Partnership With Local Non-Profit Farm

May 29, 2010: Going Rural: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to Build First Store in Los Banos, California

May 28, 2010: First Phase of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market-Anchored Condo Development in San Francisco's Bayview Set For Completion in June

April 19, 2010: Tesco Debating Whether to Launch Fresh & Easy Into Northern California This Fiscal Year... or Wait

May 9, 2010: A Whopping 15 of Whole Foods Market's 41 New Stores in Development are in California - And Nine of The 15 Are In Northern CA

May 8, 2010: Sprouts, and Likely Henry's to Beat Fresh & Easy to Northern California Despite it's Big Head Start

May 6, 2010: Going Smaller & Getting 'Hybrid': Walmart's Smaller Supercenter in Vacant Retail Buildings Strategy Began in 2008

Additionally: Click here to read a selection of past stories on Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and Northern California. Click the "older posts" link at the bottom of the linked pages for additional posts on the topic.

1 comment:

Neighborhood Resident said...

Many of us who live in the neighborhood have told the mayor we would like to see him find another grocer to go in the Fresh & Easy site. Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, for example. But even a local independent would be good. But bc Fresh & Easy holds the lease it won't happen unless they give it up.