A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Plans reveal old Safeway’s use

Written April 9th, 2018 by Hasso Hering


Last week I reported that demolition had started inside the old Albany Safeway to prepare the building for a new business. I was unable to identify the prospective tenant because no one would tell me and I had failed to take the most obvious step: Look at the plans.

Monday I remembered to take that step, and you see the result above. The plans on file at City Hall say the building at Pacific Boulevard and Calapooia Street is being remodeled for I-5 Sports, a dealership in all-terrain vehicles that now has a store at Commercial Way and Santiam Highway, just east of I-5. The company also has a store on S.E. Third Street in Corvallis.

The old Safeway’s owner didn’t want to tell me for whom the former supermarket was being remodeled because the city permits were not yet final. They were applied for last Wednesday, and it typically takes the city building staff two or three weeks to check them, perhaps ask for revisions, and then approve them.

The plans show a big showroom, a service area, and several offices, among other features.

When the bike and I made our way to I-5 Sports in Albany on Monday to ask about the timing of the move and other details, I was told I had to talk to the boss but he wasn’t there. I called later and left a message but didn’t hear back.

The Safeway was built in the 1960s. Safeway left it and moved to 14th Avenue in 1999 but for years kept up its lease to prevent a competitor from opening there.  Weeks ago I was told that the owners were negotiating with a prospective business for the space, but it would not be a grocery.

Now that the no-grocery prediction is confirmed, the news likely disappoints residents of southwest Albany who, in online comments, had been hoping for a supermarket closer to where they live. (hh)

Postscript: I heard from Larry Sanders, the boss at I-5 Sports. The plan is to consolidate the Albany and Corvallis stores in the remodeled old Safeway building. He has many more units of ATVs stored off-site now, so the old supermarket space will not seem too big for his inventory. 

The I-5 Sports store on Commercial Way.

7 responses to “Plans reveal old Safeway’s use”

  1. John Kosanke says:

    It’s not even close to I-5. Should be called Hwy 99 motorsports or Pacific motorsports……

  2. Jai says:

    Will the building dept address the known structural concerns. Built in the 60s. Same engineered structure in Lebanon failed per inspection and was demolished. Is it the money getting in the way?

  3. Bill Looney says:

    Build a grocery store just south of the Target Distribution Center. It will serve West Albany and the population south of Albany. Driving northeast or to the east side of town is a hassle for half of Albany’s population and rural populations south, that are in the Albany School District. Get on it!

  4. Diane Clark says:

    Thanks Hasso for the reveal! Anticipation was fun though. I was hoping that it was going to be a city run youth center for free or very low cost activities for all teens. A safe place to be for the kids to unwind and have some fun. Oh well can dream!

  5. Avid Reader says:

    Walmart wanted to build a Super Center on the old SWF Plywood site years ago.
    Our “esteemed” city council wouldn’t push for it, so Oregon Freeze Dry or some frozen foods company (I may have the wrong name) put the cabash on the idea by saying Walmart’s trucks would interfere with access to their operation.

    So, we got the Walmart stuck out there on Highway 20 half-way to Cottonwoods instead.

    I don’t shop at Safeway just because they tied up the lease all these years of their old site on Pacific to keep a grocery store out of there. To heck with them.

    Also, read in paper quite a while back that The YMCA, after tearing down their old buildings, would like to get a small grocery on that site. Haven’t heard anything more, so they must not be pushing it or aren’t successful in finding anyone. I wish we could get a Trader Joe’s or something like that at the old YMCA site.

  6. Richard Vannice says:

    Noticed you referred to “biking to I 5 Sports” in Albany. Where is the location????


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