A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

All those containers: Why they are there

Written May 24th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

Here are some of the shipping containers that were stored in the parking lot of Fred Meyer in Albany on Tuesday.

So what’s the story behind all those shipping containers sitting in a cordoned-off section of the Albany Fred Meyer parking lot?

I passed the lot on a bike ride Tuesday and wondered about the 23 containers sitting there. Why were they there? Today I got the answer:

Fred Meyer, part of the nationwide Kroger chain of supermarkets, is remodeling the Albany store.

Again? Didn’t they just remodel the store?

Yes, they did, and I was reminded that it was 10 years ago. Another proof, as though we needed any, that time flies and the older you get the faster it flies.

As I understand it, the company refreshes its stores about once every 10 years. This time, the store is expanding the grocery department and, among other things, widening the aisles.

Anyway, all those shipping containers are full of material needed in the remodeling, which I was told is already underway although I didn’t see any outward sign of construction.

The containers were clustered near the little building off Waverly Drive that used to hold a branch of the Bank of America until the branch closed. The building appears to be undergoing some work inside.

There’s been online chatter that a fast-food outlet plans to occupy the place. Maybe so, but that would require an approved site plan. No site plan approval or building permit has been requested from the City of Albany.

From the city’s planning division I understand that there was one pre-application meeting for a restaurant-type use last year. But so far no plans have been filed. (hh)

Near the former Bank of America branch, more containers.



17 responses to “All those containers: Why they are there”

  1. Ethel Ellingson says:

    Thanks, Hasso!

  2. Anony Mouse says:

    “Maybe so, but that would require an approved site plan. No site plan approval or building permit has been requested from the City of Albany.”

    How long will it take for Albany residents to become antagonistic towards coercively imposed rules that limit the freedom of a private property owner?

    Every rational person should rebel against such tyranny.

    Message to local government – just get out of the way…

    • Jason k says:

      You say this yet I wonder how you feel about all of the subdivisions that are approved in Albany. I am for the sun-divisions and for development, yet things like zoning requirements are necessary. Otherwise there would be a dispensary or strip club located next to the high school.

      • Anony Mouse says:


        Governments impose zoning restrictions to limit the ability of a private property owner to use the property for their desired purpose.

        Fears of inappropriate development are often grossly exaggerated. For example, your silly example about a “dispensary or strip club.”

        Noncoercive solutions such as contractual agreements that include restrictive covenants are better. Call it voluntary zoning.

        The right to use private property should never be determined by government mandate.

        Freedom demands that when it comes to private property rights the prevailing value should always be….government, get out of the way.

        • Jon S. says:

          Right up until your house is on fire and you want the government to come put it out.

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Gordon does not care. Or give a you know what about anything here. <– PERIOD

        • Matthew Calhoun says:

          For awhile I thought ol Gordon had left us, but come to find out he’s just hiding behind his pseudonym. Gordon, leave Albany to those of us who actually live here. Is there nothing to complain about in North Carolina?

      • hpeg13 says:

        They are remodeling. There mystery solved. A trip INSIDE would clarify the containers.

  3. Debbie Ferguson says:

    I was inside the store today and they have parts of aisles empty, the bath section is gone, its near the entrance and all on sale, bath towels, sheets, etc.

  4. khs says:

    Good with a refresh.

  5. Jo says:

    Dang, I was still having trouble remembering the aisles of groceries from the last time they changed it up.

    • Danita says:

      Me too. Wider isles will be nice so we may be able to get around the reunions that block them.

  6. Why am I here? says:

    Like they did in Corvallis, you will see a “larger” grocery department, wider aisles, and a lot less of the other departments. They may even get rid of a couple departments altogether. Hope everyone enjoys online shopping because the selections and choices here locally….really suck now and will be even worse in the future.

  7. Kent Haworth says:

    Greatest good for the greatest number people is the best method in a democracy

  8. Jennifer E. Dee says:

    Make the aisles wider to accommodate extra food and fat people to fit in the aisles?. Oh a fast food restaurant too? Make people in Albany rump, round and fat to eat, by someone, I guess.

  9. John Allen says:

    “…the store is expanding the grocery department and, among other things, widening the aisles.”

    FINALLY! My single biggest complaint about FM has been the narrow aisles and poor selection of groceries limited by the size of the grocery store. And it only took them 10 years to realize it. I limit my shopping there and give most of my business to Winco.


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