News

Andronico's offers to move into Edgewood

Grocer would fill the gap in Palo Alto left by The Fresh Market

Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center could soon have a new grocer in the form of Andronico's Community Markets, according to center redeveloper Sand Hill Property Co.

If Andronico's does enter into an agreement for the grocery space, it would occupy a space only slightly smaller than the 25,000-square-foot store it operated at Stanford Shopping Center until 2011.

The news this week pleased residents of the Duveneck/St. Francis and Crescent Park neighborhoods, who have been waiting anxiously for a new grocery retailer.

Edgewood, which is located at 2080 Channing Ave. near Embarcadero Road and U.S. Highway 101, has been without an anchor grocery store since March 31, when East Coast-based The Fresh Market pulled out. The market's closure came just as other smaller retail stores were opening in the renovated shopping center, raising neighbors' hopes that Edgewood would realize its potential as a thriving community shopping district.

The Fresh Market store was said to be profitable, but the company closed its half-dozen California locations to concentrate on East Coast and Midwest expansion, officials stated at the time. Since then, The Fresh Market continued to hold its 10-year lease of the property and was reportedly seeking a new grocer who potentially could lease the building out at a higher rate than Fresh Market was paying to Sand Hill.

Sand Hill's John Tze announced the news about Bay Area-based Andronico's in an email to resident Diana Nemet, who has actively sought another grocer.

"I'm pleased to let you and the neighborhood know that yesterday Andronico's issued a term sheet that seems workable to me. I've spoken with them and The Fresh Market, and all parties are trying to bring Andronico's to Edgewood as quickly as we can," Tze wrote.

Tze's email followed, by just three weeks, Palo Alto officials' decision that Sand Hill would have to pay $500 per day if the vacant grocery space isn't filled by Sept. 30. City Manager James Keene said that Palo Alto could impose that penalty under its zoning ordinance because Sand Hill would be in violation of its 2012 planned-community ordinance.

That ordinance specified the property owner "shall ensure the continued use of the 20,000-square-foot building as a grocery store for the life of the project" and restore two commercial buildings and the grocery store as part of a public-benefit exchange for permission to build 10 homes.

Residents lobbied the city heavily last month to impose the fine, even asking the City Council to impose stiffer penalties. But on Tuesday, neighborhood leaders lauded the news regarding Andronico's.

The swiftness with which the developer found a new grocer since the fine was announced did not escape some residents, who indicated in emails they would keep up the same kind of pressure on city leaders so the store might open more quickly.

That strategy has so far paid off.

"Thank you to every one of you that wrote a letter, went door to door and/or showed up at the council meeting (and) put your support behind a solution," neighborhood leaders Deborah Baldwin, Carla Cavalho, Jeff Levinsky and Lenore Cymes wrote in an email to residents. "Your collective voice told Sand Hill and the city that we wanted this resolved. We stood as a community to impress upon both the city and Sand Hill that there needs to be consequences to not fulfilling the permit requirements.

"With the same collective energy, we will welcome Andronico's to Edgewood Plaza once they open their doors. And, they will hear from us, just in case they don't carry our favorite ice cream or cheese or (dare we say it) candy," the residents wrote, referring to the prior grocer's offering of an abundance of candy.

Tze and an Andronico's spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment. But the announcement is a turn-around from the store's previous position: Andronico's was among nearly 40 grocers who initially declined leasing the Edgewood property, according to a list compiled earlier this year by Tze.

Andronico's, considered a high-end market, operates five stores in the Bay Area. The City of Los Altos listed Andronico's as its second highest sales-tax producer in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Andronico's has two stores in Berkeley and one each in Los Altos, San Anselmo and San Francisco.

Andronico's reconsideration of the Edgewood property comes on the heels of major changes for the company's executive team. The grocer announced in June that Suzy Monford, head of innovation at Woolworths Limited and a strategic and innovation consultant through her company Food Sport International, would be taking over as CEO.

Monford plans to bring together technology and traditional brick and mortar operations, and she plans to add health-oriented retail to the Andronico's brand, she told the trade publication Supermarket News in June.

The company announced Cheryl Hughes as chief financial officer on Sept. 10. Hughes was an executive in the oil-trading industry and former 15-year veteran director of U.S. finance for Circle K Stores, Inc.

Andronico's closed its Stanford store in July 2011 after 14 years. At that time, the family-owned business was working through a recapitalization with an unnamed equity partner, the Weekly reported. The company reorganized under CEO Gary Barrett, a professional in turning companies around, whom Monford has replaced.

Comments

4 people like this
Posted by concerned
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm

I am concerned because the Stanford Shopping Center store wasn't a store I would return to, after two experiences, in my honest opinion. I hope that whatever goes into Edgewood Shopping Center will be AT LEAST as good as The Fresh Market.


8 people like this
Posted by Andronico's?
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Really? Wow.

Not sure how they would fit in to that particular shopping center...


36 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@concerned - Andronico's is far superior to Fresh Market. I only worry it is too good for the location. But I'm super happy it is coming, I can't wait to shop there.


18 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 16, 2015 at 5:49 pm

This is good news. I would bet the pricing will be similar to FM - which was higher than Safeway. But I'll take the convenience/price trade-off versus driving to the MP Safeway for "brand name" products.


13 people like this
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:28 pm

The Stanford Andronico's was on a downward spiral before it closed. Before that, it was an excellent place to go to market.

The faster they come in the better--it was so great to be able to pop over to Fresh Market to pick up this and that! (Never bought any candy there, though.) And their prices weren't bad at all. Better than Whole Foods, in many cases.

Now, with the bagels, all we'll need is Formico's pizza back…and a hardware store…Sigh...


5 people like this
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm

I liked Andronicos, but their prices were a bit high for what you got.


19 people like this
Posted by grocery store at last
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Great to see a solution on the horizon. But I'm not getting too excited until the doors to Andronico's open. It seems a little too coincidental that this sudden tenant arrives just as SandHill goes over the coals. It's cute that the neighbors think their phone calls to potential grocers were effective, but the reality is that money talks, and new increased fines were definitely on the horizon based on the neighborhood outcry.


18 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:32 pm

It’s nice to think the threat of fines lead to the possibility of Andronico’s moving into Edgewood Plaza. But what would lead anyone to conclude that other than wishful thinking? The reality is the threat of fines has been against the owner of Edgewood Plaza, but the obligation to lease the store lies with Fresh Market, which signed a ten-year lease for the store and is, undoubtedly anxious to find a new tenant to take over the lease. And, in fact, from what we have been told, the conversation has been between Andronico’s and Fresh Market – not between the property owner and Andronico’s. So the threat of fines against the owner was undoubtedly unrelated to today’s development. What was nice to see in recent months, however, was a collaborative effort in the community to suggest possible grocers and, in some cases, reach out to them directly. I don’t know if anyone reached out to Andronico’s, but it’s possible they did. Now let’s just hope Andronico’s seals the deal and moves in.


3 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:35 pm

@Crescent Park Dad

Why don't you patronize the Palo Alto Safeway? Why don't you support the stores in Palo Alto?

With all this talk about wanting local/close by stores, my feelings is that this is all talk. People say they want a local store but the reality is that they shop in larger stores in Menlo Park, Mountain View, etc. Since Palo Alto won't permit large stores, they are all in the surrounding towns. Costco, IKEA, Home Depot, Staples, BevMo, Target, WalMart, etc.

/marc


22 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ Marc - The Safeway on Middlefield has gone down the tube. It used to be a decent store but it really has turned into a sub-par grocery option now. Customer service is terrible, the selection is limited and it is normal to run in for a single item only to find that it isn't in stock.


19 people like this
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Yes, please! I dearly miss Andronico's, the best, most beautiful grocery store ever.


39 people like this
Posted by Midtown Needs a New Grocer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm

Agree with @Nayeli. The midtown Safeway is terrible and I only go there when I feel like being annoyed. The customer service is the worst - they are really slow and don't care how long their customers wait in line. I think one factor is the biggest reason I don't shop there unless I have no other choice.


17 people like this
Posted by Carnivore
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Sep 16, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Just give me a place to buy good meat and deli options. That's what I miss about The Fresh Market.

Agree that Safeway Midtown is always a wait in line. They should get a self-checkout lane because usually all lanes are not open anyway, and 15 items for Express is too much. For those who want to complain to the corporate office, here's the link: Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 10:51 pm

Midtown Safeway does have its problems but since two of them are the fact that it is often difficult to park and they have sold out of staples it shows that it is (a) popular and (b) fills a need for convenience shopping and prices to those who live nearby and choose to use it.


3 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Grandma
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 16, 2015 at 11:01 pm

How about a Winco Foods instead? Web Link
Employee owned, decent pay for employees, decent prices, good food, expanding in California.


9 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:04 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ Resident - It could also show that they aren't very good at ordering items that might be in demand. I went to buy 1% milk a few weeks ago. They didn't have any 1% for any brand. I asked a worker what happened, and he blamed it on the milk companies (that they didn't bring enough). I don't know, but I seriously doubt that milk companies operate like that.

Still, the customer service is the worst. Even if they had everything, they still don't have to be so rude. I even heard one of the cashiers complaining in Spanish to another cashier about one of the older customers. I guess that they assumed that I wouldn't mind since I'm Hispanic too.


6 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:18 am

The posters above answered the question. Unless you can go to Midtown Safeway on a weekday between 10 and 11:30am, no bueno. Parking, availability of items on the shelves, the wait line at the deli, the narrow aisles, checkout lines, etc. Plus it only takes me an additional 5 minutes to get to the MP Safeway...worth the drive when you consider the advantages of the much larger store.

Sancho's is the only reason I drive over to Midtown these days.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:54 am

@Nayeli, I find Midtown Safeway often out of 2% milk as well, especially in half gallons. The quart price gets a bit steep. Still, it's the grocery store I use most often, generally in the middle of the night to avoid traffic, even though there might a little wait for a checker to appear up front. I don't mind all the boxes in the aisles. I've learned to smile at rude people. Maybe they're having a bad day or just reacting to so many people treating them rudely.


23 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 17, 2015 at 2:11 am

Oh my gosh you other posters!
Just by thankful we have ANY supermarket willing to lease the space.
This is great!
It's an upscale market, but they and they can keep the property maintained, which looks so much better than an empty building or abandoned property.
This is a primary entrance to Palo Alto and Stanford.
Be grateful for gosh sakes!
Thanks Andronico's!


8 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2015 at 2:57 am

Now that makes a lot of sense ... I sure hope it happens.

Lots of rips at the Palo Alto Safeway, and they really deserve it.
The lines there are so long, the checkers nice, but so slow.
They need to implement that Lucky policy of three's a crowd thing.
The Redwood City SW is bigger, but not much better. I like the
Mountain View SW.

From Crescent Park the RC Safeway is just as quick to get to
and better selection, easier parking and faster checkout.

I never went to Stanford Shopping Center for groceries, but
Andronicos seemed to have good quality stuff.

When will we know, I'll keep me fingers crossed.

>> neighborhood leaders Deborah Baldwin, Carla Cavalho, Jeff Levinsky
>> and Lenore Cymes wrote in an email to residents. "Your collective
>> voice told Sand Hill and the city that we wanted this resolved. We
>> stood as a community to impress upon both the city and Sand
>> Hill that there needs to be consequences to not fulfilling the
>> permit requirements.

Thanks, great job,

Can't wait.


3 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2015 at 7:12 am

This planned community zoning requirement is going to continue to be an Albatross on Edgewood Plaza. Grocery Stores survive on razor thin margins without being hampered by location and space restrictions. Costco, Jet, Target and Walmart are slowly killing the grocery store business.


20 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2015 at 7:31 am

I hate having to defend Midtown Safeway, but I have never found anyone rude. When the milk I want to buy is sold out late in the day, or the bread, I do mention it to them so that they know they could sell more if they had more. I usually get an apology and told it is because they don't have more room in the refrigerators or shelf space and not in a rude way. I find the deli very busy especially at lunch or predinner times, but the staff are always pleasant particularly as I ask for my meat to be sliced in a particular manner.

I think that if you complain rudely, you may get a rude reply. But if you ask nicely as your mother taught you, you might get a polite reply. The staff are overworked because minimum wages are killing service providers. I expect that yes they will get self service checkouts. Then there will probably be less staff employed there. Staff is a big expenditure when every dollar counts.


20 people like this
Posted by Que Pasa?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2015 at 8:28 am

If the Andronico's at Stanford Shopping Center couldn't make a go of it, how are they supposed to flourish at Edgewood--a place with less affluent shoppers?

' Nuff said?


6 people like this
Posted by Robert Smith
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2015 at 8:54 am

The Fresh Market almost never had a line at the registers, not enough customers. Long lines at the Safeway reflected how much they actually relied on the store, despite what they might say about it.

As much as I liked the Fresh Market and used it, Safeway had a better selection and much better prices. Apparently those things are more important.

Let's hope that people shop at Andronico's. I will.


8 people like this
Posted by Carnivore
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Sep 17, 2015 at 9:30 am

@Que Pasa?: The location of Andronico's was terrible. Way over there where the Container Store is located was inconvenient. That's a separate trip, not a trip on the way home for most.

Andronico's should focus on being a place to pick up items for a meal instead of just trying to be a mini Whole Foods as Fresh Market was. People aren't going to solely shop there when there are other larger stores that can offer more.

I've never known Safeway employees to be rude. If anything, it's obvious they are told to chat with the customers and sometimes they chat too much.


8 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2015 at 9:40 am

Yes. The Stanford location...the closest residential area was the Oak Creek apartments...not a natural location for day to day customers. They had a busy lunch hour due to Stanford med staff running over for lunch.

Edgewood location is much better in terms of access to homes and families. FM also had a lunch rush by employees from the East Embarcadero offices, so I'd expect that to happen again. And as I mentioned above, Andronico's stocks mainstream products/brands, which should appeal to a greater number of potential customers in the area.


5 people like this
Posted by AllenE
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 17, 2015 at 10:45 am

AllenE is a registered user.

Midtown Safeway. Looks like nobody goes there because it is too crowded, to quote Yogi Berra.


14 people like this
Posted by Angela
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2015 at 11:56 am

We, the residents in the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood are THRILLED to have Andronico's come to our neighborhood. Let's show our support! Thank you Andronico's for coming! I like Safeway at Middlefield as well and frequent them often. Would love less negativity in all the Palo Alto Online comments. Let's focus on the great positives of our community!


11 people like this
Posted by Robert Smith
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm

I am hearing a lot of minor complaining about various grocery options, including Safeway and Andronico's.

Stores only go where they can make a respectable profit. If things don't go well for Andronico's, we will once again be asking for the developer to find a new grocer. If this continues, eventually no grocer will want to be there and then we will have a controversy.

We need to give this store the greatest patronage that we can if we want to keep it. Neither the grocer, the developer, nor the city can make this successful. It is up to us.






7 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

When it comes to groceries, we currently use multiple grocery stores for our weekly purchases.

There are some items that we only find at Trader Joe's. There are other items that we can only find at Whole Foods or Sprout's. We used to visit The Fresh Market because of some of their breads and hummus. We visit Safeway (usually on San Antonio Road or MP because of issues with the Middlefield store) for other options. We visit Costco, Target and even Wal-Mart for certain items (although we tend to stay away from Wal-Mart for many of the same reasons we avoid Safeway on Middlefield). We also use the Milk Pail Market almost religiously.

We rarely use Mollie Stone's (even though it is nearby) because of the higher prices and limited selections. However, they do have some interesting selections that you can't find elsewhere, so they do get some of our money some of the time. The same is true with Piazza's (which has great customer service, unique selections and is always fun to visit).

Google Shopping Express is helpful for us when it comes to non-perishable items (but their rapidly changing terms of service and delayed delivery windows are becoming burdensome and defeating the purpose of membership). We've considered trying the Amazon grocery delivery service too.

Currently, we plan our shopping trips. We can stop by Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Wal-Mart/Target, Sprout's, CVS, Costco and Grocery Outlet on one Saturday morning shopping spree.

For Andronico's to work for us, we would have to have a reason to drive or ride our bikes there. We visited Fresh Market because of the hummus. I don't know much about Andronico's, so I would have to visit a few times to see if there is anything that would make them stand out from the rest and be worthwhile as part of our weekly shopping experience.


10 people like this
Posted by ED
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Welcome Andronico's.


4 people like this
Posted by Badsah
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Refreshing news, after hearing a sales pitch by Target Express (ugh!) and seeing the long list of grocers that declined in the first round. It boils down to economics and patronage. I'll believe it when I see Andronico's move in, and then I want to see how long it lasts. As you can see in @Nayeli's last post, we have a lot of choices in the area. BTW, does anyone know how many of those new homes have been sold?


Like this comment
Posted by concerned
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm

I think there are 10 homes, and that about 8 are sold or sale pending. I haven't walked by there this week, so the number could be slightly different.

Somewhere in the discussion about the Edgewood Shopping Center there have been remarks about the developer being able to build and sell "several" homes, but it is far more than several (which I take to mean 3); the homes have been listed for just under 3M each, so the sales have been HIGHLY profitable to the developer.


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Great! Love Andronico's.


9 people like this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 17, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Heck yeah, how soon can they move in?


Like this comment
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

How would Andronico's avoid what forced them to abandon their Stanford location? They were quite pricy and were beaten by Trade Joe's and even Piazza's, where one could buy similar products for a significantly lower price. I don't want to be like a doom sayer, but if Andronico's opens a location at Edgwood Plaza, I suspect they will end up where all other grocery stores in that location ended up.


5 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Have to agree with comments about midtown Safeway being a dump-- dingy, understocked, always short on milk. They never have enough registers open-- half the time the latest news back up into the aisles, so you cannot even get by. Feh!
We will see what happens with andronicos. It would be interesting to track, perhaps by zip code, how much shopping the neighborhood is doing at the store. Of course, the city council should have to provide receipts each week showing that they are shopping there.


8 people like this
Posted by anne harrison
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

This is wonderful news and we hope that the deal can be made and we will support the store.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Another neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm

This the best news! My family will do 90% of our shopping there!!!


6 people like this
Posted by Lynne
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Please Andronico's come! I loved your store at Stanford. I live two blocks away and will shop with you all the time. Fresh Market sucked. You are so far superior. They had awful produce, terrible deli, ridiculous wine selection, etc.
You will have far better patronage.


Like this comment
Posted by dennis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 18, 2015 at 9:13 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 18, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Believe it or not, there is a LARGE contingent of senior citizens in the EWP buying area who are in their 70's and lower and upper 80's and even nineties still living in their homes. The 50's crowd is rapidly getting into the 60's and Social Security. Once the paycheck stops, buying habits often change rapidly. Those on fixed income and Social Security count their resources and purchases carefully. Avenidas transportation gets some to Safeway and other venues. Most older residents are still driving. And speaking of driving, parking is becoming difficult at times at EWP. The area where those condos are now was once a major parking lot for the grocery store. It was well lit and easily accessible in my opinion. But long time residents know that there was a crime problem after dark, and that also contributed to buyers going elsewhere. How is that potential problem being solved?


5 people like this
Posted by a fan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm

It would be great if Andronico's returned to Palo Alto!


Like this comment
Posted by grocery store at last
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 19, 2015 at 12:11 am

1) @robert Smith- Thanks for having the guts to use your real name. no one else does. It gives your posts infinite more credence.

2) Totally up to us....mostly. Not sure what kind of rent that Andronico's will be paying, but hopefully with their new leadership they are entering into an agreement with eyes wide open.

3) I think this whole debacle that required the Neighbors [and specifically those 4 organizers mentioned above] to revive the notion of a legitimate grocery at EWP sounds a louder alarm: that PCs are bad news. Fortunately, most PA neighbors are well educated [even if self educated] and civic minded. Being bullied by a Developer may work in other places, but it will NOT work in Palo Alto.


8 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 19, 2015 at 6:45 am

Some of the doom & gloom / negative posts are a bit surprising - clearly not aware of the recent Fresh Market scenario.

Fresh Market publicly stated that the PA store was making a profit and was exceeding their expectations. The closure was a result of a decision to withdraw from the west coast (the other 2 stores were not doing so well). I don't know the demographics, but clearly the store was sufficiently supported by the surrounding community.

If you had patronized FM, then you would know that besides the fresh butcher counter and nice produce section, the other goods were mostly composed of non-mainstream brands. It was a mix of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's in that sense. And yet, the market was profitable and no blight. Now we will have a grocer that will carry items that most people look for when they go to a Safeway type of store.

And it's not like the rest of the shopping center is dormant...there's a reason why the (albeit smaller than before) some people are concerned about enough parking.

Perhaps the negative nellies knew these facts, perhaps they didn't. But there's only one way to see what happens...


3 people like this
Posted by hopeful supporter
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm

@CPD
Part of the scenario you are are missing is from simple observation - there were very few customers in TFM at Edgewood. The stock along with Whole Foods has taken a huge hit recently from not meeting same store sales expectations for the company as a whole. They need to release the space. Andronico's knows the local market and is connected to it in a way that TFM was not. Andronico's is the best replacement we could possibly envision for that space.


1 person likes this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 20, 2015 at 3:28 am

This is an interesting discussion.

The first thing that comes to my mind is, was Fresh Market telling the truth
about being profitable? They might say or embellish the truth to get another
sucker to move in there ... if it was not true. Can they prove it?

But, if it was, I don't see any downside to Andronico's trying it out, because
apparently they could negotiate some kind of discount of compensation from
Fresh market ... like half price rent for what ... 8 years or something. That is
enough to

Finally, I think Andronico's as many of the new grocery stores relies on sale
of prepared food. That is the question ... would this site be as good as
Stanford Shopping Center ... or ever better. Seems like a lot of people
went to Fresh Market for quick meals.

Andronico's could even do better than Fresh Market if they had a good produce
buyer. Fresh Market started out with great produce, and then I quickly started
finding cheats in their produce. They used colors watching and packages
for their tomatoes and then I started to see whole displays full of dehydrated
or rotted tomatoes. Same with berries, yet their prices were usually pretty
high.

As much as I did like Fresh Market for its convenience and average good quality
I don't think Fresh Market would be hard to surpass, especially since they had
so many odd items that I don't think many were interested in. For example I
once went there just looking for some strawberry jam. They had a million kinds
of jam, but only one tiny expensive jar of strawberry. What kind of a supermarket
doesn't carry strawberry jam?

I will be very happy if Andronico's gives it a whirl, it sounds like a good deal,
especially if they can negotiate a discount with Fresh Market.


2 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 20, 2015 at 3:34 am

ugh ... typos ...

>> like half price rent for what ... 8 years or something. That is
>> enough to give it a try.

>> They used colors wrapping and packages for their tomatoes
>> and then I started to see whole displays full of dehydrated
>> or rotted tomatoes. Same with berries, yet their prices were
>> usually VERY high.


2 people like this
Posted by hopeful supporter
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2015 at 10:37 am

@Plane Speaker
Exactly. TFM needs to lease the space and cut their losses.They got a
below market rate from Sandhill which needed a tenant and they apparently
were trying negotiate a somewhat higher rate for a sublease and actually
make money on it. Unsuccessful, perhaps they have come down now and
Andronico's is also getting a favorable rate. A new CEO has taken over at TFM.


4 people like this
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 20, 2015 at 12:31 pm

@plane speaker - part of having good produce is turning it over quickly - for example, I find that the Safeway in Midtown has the best corn-in-the-cob because the store is so small, they can only have a small amount.


1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm

[Portion removed.]

CPD - thank you for your informed and thoughtful comments. It'll be nice to see people bustling in and out of a grocery store again at Edgewood.


2 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 23, 2015 at 4:20 am

palo alto mom, guess I will have to try some of Safeway's fresh corn.

Overall I have found Safeway's produce average, but I haven't found
anywhere that was consistently superior. It was not Fresh Market ...
maybe it will be Andronico's.

I can understand that produce goes bad, and I assume they have a
system for pricing it and culling out stale and bad stock. What I
really have resented, and I think some places still do this is like when
you go to buy oranges for example. They put 10 oranges in an
orange colored bag, and then when you get home you find that
some of them are not even orange yet, and maybe some of them
are so old they have mold hair growing on them. Same with
with Strawberries, and tomatoes. This is a kind of low level fraud
that ought to be outlawed.


2 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Chip is a registered user.

II shopped regularly @ Andronico's In Stanford Shopping Center & may trek to EWP even though it isn't a convenient location for me. I like TFM (in Palm Springs) but never tried the one in Edgewood (geographically inconvenient.) Andronico's at Stanford was a good size, Los Altos is somewhat smaller. Is Edgewood less space than either of those? As far as Midtown Safeway, it's a dirty, cramped, under stocked dump with insufficient parking. Once every 2 or 3 years I'm actually desperate enough to have to go there & always regret it. Piazza's is very good but not convenient. Molly Stone? Meh. [Portion removed.]

Nostalgia note - Does anyone remember Niven's?


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Posted by Yes yes, go on
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 21, 2015 at 5:16 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Hoping for andronicos
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Any news if contract in place? Any other news?


4 people like this
Posted by TN
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm

This is great news, have there been any updates? Having a grocery store walking distance away and in the way home from work was a convenience we got very used to. We are delighted to have progress toward the replacement and we lived andronico's and will be shooing there several times a week. I hope they move in very soon!

PS people living in multi million dollar homes complaining about grocery store prices is very difficult for me to understand. The store should be in tune with the neighborhood, and ideally that will mean a full service high end grocery store with lots of to-go options.


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Posted by TN
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Sorry for the typos - autocorrect issues!


1 person likes this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Another PC gone bad and no enforcement! Developers 1000 and residents 0.


1 person likes this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Marie is a registered user.

It's all about the rent. I assume Andronico's left Stanford because they raised the rent. And probably they turned down Edgewood Plaza because Fresh Market is trying to make money on their lease, and wanted much higher price to sublease than they were paying.

My guess would be is that the city pressure led to a lower lease rate.

I welcome Andronico's


4 people like this
Posted by So
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2016 at 12:21 am

What ever happened with this? Is it dead?


4 people like this
Posted by :(
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jan 17, 2016 at 12:27 am

Maybe they realized there aren't enough parking spots for their customers because it's been overbuilt with businesses that encourage long visits (Orange Theory classes, Starbuck's, Asian restaurant).


6 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 18, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Is there any real information with this story?

The Fresh Market did a pretty good business with the parking
lot that is there now. I went there several times a week and was
never unable to find a place to park, and one could always park
on the street behind. They could have used a bit more parking
but I don't think that is a killer.

Is there any update on this ... and did they raise the fine on
the property management company or not?


5 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 31, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Why not put in a Ranch 99 market. It's cheap and lets be real Palo Alto does not have any grocery stores that cater to the booming asian demographic.


2 people like this
Posted by LelandManorMom
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 1, 2016 at 10:47 am

A community member summarized all markets contacted. I believe Ranch 99 was on the list, but it may require interested community members to start advocating as a group. Perhaps the owner needs to offer more meaningful rent concessions to potential markets.


3 people like this
Posted by Asian-American
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 1, 2016 at 2:52 pm

I don't think Ranch 99 would have enough to draw non-Asians and it's not a particularly immaculate store. I only go to their Mountain View store once or twice a month.


5 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 2, 2016 at 3:30 am

Ranch 99 ... are you kidding?
Have you seen the numbers of customer that R99 attracts. Look in the parking lots
at the throngs of people at any moment in a R99 ... the little parking lot does not
support the masses of cheap customers.

Go to the MV R99 and just look, there are about 4 times as many people in there at
any moment as would fill the Edgewood parking lot .. which is way way too small
anyway. Who greenlights these idiot designs in Palo Alto anyway? They have screwed
us twice recently with Miki's market and then Fresh Market, leaving us with useless
little backwater places that are hard to find tenants for.

Honestly, I am pretty amazed that T&C's Trader Joe has been able to survive, but
they probably have the only location with a decent amount of parking, even if it
is hard to get to and hard to get out of.

Are the other markets in Palo Alto paying bribe money to the City Council not to put
in another decent market? I'm serious, why are the needs of the City always thrown
by the wayside and we end up with spit?


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

I am getting very tired with Midtown Safeway. It seems that the last couple of times I have dropped in for staples, they have run out. Last time was lunchtime and parking lot was full also.

Piazzas seems to do a much better job of keeping staples stocked on the shelves on a daily basis.

Trader Joes is a niche store that has prepackaged produce, meat and fish and very few national brands.

It is about time that we had a full service supermarket in town.


2 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Good news - progess...from a posting in the CP Google Group:

This is an excerpt from a letter between a CP resident and J. Tze / Sandhill Group:

February 2, 2016

Hi xxxxx,

It's good to hear from you. I am pleased to tell you that The Fresh Market and the prospective new grocer are now in the process of negotiating a sublease and the process appears to be going well. That’s a very good sign, but we are definitely not yet at the finish line or in a position to declare success. From my experience, negotiations of this sort typically involve multiple rounds of back-and-forth over several weeks or even months, but every situation is unique. Although the substantive negotiations are directly between TFM and the prospective grocer and, thus, involve Sand Hill Property Company only minimally, we have offered to help the parties in any way we can as they move forward with their negotiations.

I have no doubt that members of the community are anxious about bringing in a new grocer – and I feel exactly the same way. Please feel free to share this message with the neighborhood. And if you would like, I would be happy to send you a monthly message with an update you can share with the neighborhood. Let me add that if the sublease is signed, it will be up to TFM and the prospective tenant to make the information public, but I will urge them to do so as quickly as possible. And in the unfortunate event that the negotiations break down (which I am very much hoping will not occur), I will be able to let you know immediately so you can pass along word to the neighborhood. FYI, we have remained in touch with potential grocers during the process so that if negotiations do break down, we will be immediately ready to resume our efforts to find a new grocer. But, again, I am very optimistic the negotiations between TFM and the prospective grocer will lead to a successful outcome.

Thanks,
John


23 people like this
Posted by bunch of baloney from Sand Hill
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm

@CrescentPark Dad. It's not progress...it's a lot of hogwash. Mr. Tze responded to neighbor Diana Nemet's timed request for an update after they saw some posts here this morning. Mr. Tze has carefully targeted well-intentioned, sweet hearted, unknowing neighbors for his communications. [Portion removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by where's andronico's
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 2, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Seems as if the always-concerned citizen Mr. Tze is really working hard at this. He must really love this neighborhood. It looks like Andronico's is no longer a player, since any mention of a specific grocer was cryptically removed from Mr. Tze's well-edited 2/1 communication. It's most likely that he's pining for a big box retailer (not a Grocer) and once that tenant is in place, he will turn around and sell EWP at a handsome profit. Wouldn't be at all surprised if City Council and City Manager Keene already know all about it.


3 people like this
Posted by LelandManorMom
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 3, 2016 at 10:54 am

All,
Is there a community group or Palo Alto development office group that exists that we can join to discuss this issue more transparently and in a brainstorming format?
Thanks for letting me know.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2016 at 11:30 am

You can try Nextdoor.com


7 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Feb 3, 2016 at 11:55 am

Sold out again ...
Maybe a protest at city hall is in order. Seem the city who you pay alot of taxes too could care less about its citizens.


Still think a Ranch 99 , Chavez market, or maybe a walmart express is the only store that will fit there in that location. Most grocers are too big these days.


11 people like this
Posted by a lot of baloney from Sand Hill
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 3, 2016 at 10:16 pm

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry when I think about Sand Hill's next debacle...I mean project. They've been approved to develop the VallCo complex in Cupertino..a massive project, yet they can't even handle the relatively miniscule Edgewood Plaza.

Web Link

Everywhere Sand Hill goes, trouble follows.

Web Link

Yet there are neighbors in this community who continue to perceive this bully Developer as a benevolent neighbor. Illegally knocking down buildings, creating complex lease contracts that benefit all except the neighbors, and causing suffering by Mom and Pop businesses (ie the Nail Salon that is suffering without grocery store foot traffic) continue to be overlooked as Sand Hill is perceived as the victim of a Grocery Store that suddenly vacated (but continues to pay.) "but they're so nice, they let us have Edgewood Eats..."

Target sniffed around Edgewood Plaza as a place for its new Target, but neighbors went beserk and fought it off. So now, that Target rented another of Sand Hill's Properties in Cupertino.

Web Link

And now, voters in Cupertino (just this month) have said NO THANKS to Sand Hill's metastatic growth. (read the second to last paragraph about Sand Hill's plan to bully the city with its own "voter initiative."

Web Link

Are we in Palo Alto really so naive to think this nonsense should go on? Edgewood Plaza will only be the tip of the iceberg for this cancerous developer.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Soooooo...Is Sand Hill going to do anything to make the shopping center extra enticing for Woodland Park tenants (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)??


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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