After sitting empty for five years, a long-shuttered grocery store just steps from a highly desirable Mission District stretch of 24th Street might reopen with a new tenant.
1245 South Van Ness Avenue was the home of a Cala/Bell Market from 1959 until the early 2000s, when it became a Delano’s IGA. The latter closed in 2010, and while there was a brief flash of hope that a Fresh & Easy would take over the space in 2012, those plans were scrapped after the grocery chain's parent company pulled out of almost all of its US locations.
Since then, the 21,452 square‐foot single‐story grocery store and 65-space parking lot bordered by Shotwell and just steps from 24th Street has sat fenced, empty, and reportedly a magnet for trash.
According to documents filed with the Planning Commission (you can take a look at all of them here, just click on the little arrow and plus icons to see them), the company is planning a "Change of use from Fresh and Easy grocery store to Grocery Outlet grocery stores."
Not much will change, appearance-wise, they say, just "Minor exterior changes will be made along with minimal interior remodel to Grocery Outlet standards."
This is the second Fresh & Easy that might become a Grocery Outlet — as the Portola Planet reported last week, their shuttered location at 1390 Silver Avenue is also slated to make that switch after the Planning Commission OKed the transfer of their beer and wine sales permit Tuesday, SocketSite notes.
As Grocery Outlet qualifies as formula retail, which is specifically regulated in San Francisco, the company has also filed a Conditional Use Authorization for the Van Ness spot, an application which must be approved by both Planning and the Board of Supervisors before they'll be allowed to open in the space. But if this Mission Local report from 2012, when Fresh & Easy's plans tanked, is any indication, this is one chain that might be welcomed by 24th Street.
“I’d like a store there because I am a cook and it would be convenient to get certain groceries there, instead of having to travel to Safeway or Foods Co.," one resident told Mission Local at that time.
The vacant building “looks really ugly,” another said.
“A place to shop or something would make the neighborhood nicer.”