Shortly after the Sacramento City Council rejected a plan a Safeway gas station in the Curtis Park Village development, developer Paul Petrovich says he will now place a Grocery Outlet store at the site.
Petrovich says he will lose tenants who hoped to piggy-back on upscale shoppers that a Safeway might attract. He says he has to act fast because has so much money tied up at the former Union Pacific Rail Yard and must now bring in a Grocery Outlet to move the project forward.
The decision does not require approval by the city council because a supermarket was always in the development plan. The chain's bargain and overstock projects may not fit perfectly in the wealthy neighborhood of Curtis Park and nearby Land Park and Hollywood Park neighborhoods, but residents say that is still preferable to a large gas station in a development that was supposed to be pedestrian and transit friendly.
Some residents say any store that moves into the neighborhood will cater to residents.
"We will welcome this Grocery Outlet, and I think it's going to be fabulous," said Rosanna Herber, a former president of the Curtis Park Neighborhood Association.
Others have confidence that neighbors will be an attraction to upscale businesses.
"The neighborhood will bring in the kind of businesses that want to attract Curtis Park area, Land Park, Hollywood Park," said resident Hope Rabinoovitz.
But Oak Park community leader Pastor Larry Meeks was incensed with the decision to kill the Safeway deal over the gas station issue.
He said changes made by Petrovich would have put the gas station away from homes and hidden it from view. The bigger issue is Safeway's agreement to hire 200 residents of depressed Oak Park just blocks away.
"I got a church full of people who could use a job and they just blew it away," said Meeks.
Meeks said Grocery Outlet has made no such commitment.
"It's not in my backyard ...They don't want 'those' people, that's what they say, they don't want 'those' people over in their neighborhood. Well 'those' people are my people, they're the people I represent," Meeks said.
Another Petrovich development, the R Street Market, is anchored by an upscale Safeway offering premium foods and catering to midtown residents. There are a number of successful business who located nearby to feed off Safeway customers.
There are some Curtis Park residents who don't believe Petrovich will not follow through on his stated intention to bring in a Grocery Outlet because it would affect the success and vision of his development.