The Curious Architecture of Our Cabrillo Street Safeway – Entryway Looks Like an Air Traffic Control Tower, Non?

This is the scene at the Safeway on 7th and Cabrillo. Doesn’t the entrance look like an air traffic control tower?

Click to expand

(Appears as if the windows are cinder blocks, else the place could make a nice in-law apartment, right? A set of stairs or an elevator and you’d be all set.)

I don’t know, maybe the NIMBYs of the Inner Richmond demanded the funky design, or maybe Safeway did it that way thinking it was doing us a favor.

No matter, the NIMBY’s of the East Bay (they’re called Stakeholders* over there, for some reason) seem to consider our Cabrillo Safeway something of a paragon, what with its “state-of-the-art Lifestyle Interior” ‘n stuff.

Now, for some reason, the longest waiting time I’ve ever experienced at a Costco seems to be about the average waiting time at this particular store, don’t know why.

But don’t leave us, Safeway #2646 (the way that Albertsons done.) We still love you no matter how goofy those meddlesome homeowners associations made you look.

If Safeway works on these unannounced inspection violations, it’ll be fine:

019 (CFR) Inadequate/Inaccessible handwashing facilities & supplies 
020 (CFR) Improper hot/cold holding temperatures 
033 (CFR) Foods not separated or protected 
041 (CFR) Foods improperly labeled or misrepresented 
042 (CFR) Non Food Contact Surface Unclean 
054 (CFR) Floors, Walls, Ceilings Improperly constructed, in disrepair, not clean 
056 (CFR) Permit/Inspection Not Posted 
062 (CFR) Other – (Specify in report)

That was from a year ago, tho. I’m sure they’ve righted the ship by now.

We Can Only Hope…

*A taste of what Safeway Inc. has to deal with in the 510, after the jump.

“Stakeholder Request
Safeway Response
Individual and unique architectural design compatible with the best of contemporary Rockridge/College Ave.- No generic shopping mall design.
Safeway’s architect changed the proposal to create a unique urban neighborhood solution featuring the best characteristics of the Rockridge community.
Limit project to existing parcel. (i.e., remove gas station parcel from project)
By utilizing both parcels, Safeway could provide required public parking and create new pedestrian/urban amenities-plaza, walk street, open space: expand College Avenue for buses/traffic.
Parking plan that supports the strong interdependency of our shopping neighborhood, and that incorporates an overall landscaping design.
The parking plan will accommodate both Safeway shoppers and patrons of local merchants.
Sound and visual buffers for Contiguous Neighbors to mitigate noise, odor and pest impacts on neighbors.
See Section IV below.
The redesign should not result in worsening of traffic on College Ave. in or causing traffic problems on nearby streets.
Through the EIR, a comprehensive traffic study will be conducted to identify traffic patterns and impact.

I. EXTERIOR OF BUILDING/STORE
Improve design of existing solid wall fronting on College Ave.
Removed solid wall fronting College Avenue in new store design. The store façade mirrors the active/walk able environment on College Avenue.
Reconfigure layout to accommodate a relocated receiving dock that is NOT adjacent to residences.
The loading dock has been moved to an enclosed, interior location with the truck door approximately 10’ to 35’ from any property line.
Elimination of exterior vending machines.
Exterior vending machines have been removed in the new design.
Elimination of recycling station.
Already done.
Dark Sky compliant exterior building lighting.
The Dark Sky compliant exterior lighting is a City of Oakland code requirement that will be adhered to by Safeway.
Limit size of expansion.
Safeway reduced size of store from 59,000sq’ to 50,000sq’ and retail from 16,000sq’ to 11,500sq’. Because of geometry, functions as a 40,000 sq’ store. New design also mitigates impact of size.
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II. INTERIOR OF STORE
Safeway may want to consider more double stack express check-out stands.
Safeway may want to consider double stacking normal check-out stands.
Baffled lighting as in the Cabrillo Safeway store to minimize 24-hour light glare on the adjacent neighborhood.
Safeway performs best as a low price, non-gourmet alternative for this mixed income area.
Safeway plans for its interior design will be at a minimum, their state of the art “Lifestyle Interior” design. A Safeway representative provided an example of this design and responded to neighbors questions about it during the April 2009 community meeting.
III. PARKING & LANDSCAPING
Mitigate the visual impact of a sea of cars with extensive specimen trees and planting, thus creating a balancing texture to the parking.
Safeway has done that through the new architectural design, which improves the visual impact of parking by having customer parking below ground and employee/loading parking aesthetically covered with landscaping elements such as trees, indigenous plants and bamboo screens.
Manage vehicular access to parking areas so as to minimize impact on pedestrians, contiguous residences and exiting traffic congestion.
The vehicular entrances and exits have been reduced from nine to four. On College Avenue, four entrances/exits are being reduced to one. On Claremont, five entrances/exits are being reduced to three.
Match species and spacing of street trees to west Side of College between 63rd and Alcatraz.
All of the trees on the west side of College Avenue will be matched in the new design.
Dark Sky compliant landscape and security lighting.
The Dark Sky compliant exterior lighting is a City of Oakland code that must be adhered to.
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IV. CONTINUOUS NEIGHBOR BUFFER
Site all entrances and exits AWAY from the contiguous homes.
Done. All entrances are separated from the neighbor’s by a minimum of 10’ of landscaping. The ramp off Claremont Ave. is 20’ away from the nearest Claremontneighbor and is screened with an 8’ high wall and an architectural stair enclosure. Truck access is located 190’ from the nearest Claremont neighbor.
Redesigned and relocated or enclosed delivery dock that is visually and acoustically screened from the contiguous neighbors.
Done. The loading dock is completely walled in.
Building design that minimizes loss of sunlight on the adjacent properties.
The new design does exactly that: It is set back 10’ and steps down 5’ at the adjacent neighbor’s property line. The loading dock entrance is an additional 20’ from the property line.
Relocate the following away from adjoining residential property lines: trash compactor, HVAC, refrigeration.
Done. The trash compactor is entirely enclosed and is over 60’ from the nearest property line. HVAC equipment will be located as far away from the neighbors as possible.
Easily visible signage for all delivery trucks stipulating – State of CA 5 min. idling time; Noise reduction standards for all deliveries; Quiet Zone at all times.
Enforced monitoring of trucks for compliance to signage.
Penalty/fines for non-compliance.
Delivery trucks adhere to the California State laws and requirements.
V. ONGOING REGULAR, DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY MAINTEANCE OF EXTERIOR, INCLUDING LADSCAPING
Provide neighborhood with maintenance schedule.
Penalty/fines for non-compliance.
Safeway adheres to the maintenance schedules established by city regulations or conditions. These are a public record.

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3 Responses to “The Curious Architecture of Our Cabrillo Street Safeway – Entryway Looks Like an Air Traffic Control Tower, Non?”

  1. sf says:

    is this article about sf or east bay?? very confusing.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    yes and yes.

    for some reason, the people in Oakland/Berkeley talk about our Safeway more than we do…

  3. Sam Foster says:

    My personal favorite is that the parking lot at this store ALWAYS seems to be full.

    I know I’m supposed to be transit first but there are times I need to buy heavy stuff or a lot of stuff and that pretty much precludes my going to this one. :(