Fillmore Neighborhood’s Sole Full-Service Grocery Store to Remain Open for Another Year in Response to Public Outcry
San Francisco city officials expressed their satisfaction on Monday as they received news that the Fillmore neighborhood’s only full-service grocery store would not be shutting its doors as previously announced. Safeway, a renowned supermarket chain, had initially declared that the store located at 1335 Webster St. would permanently close in March, which had caused significant distress among residents in both the Japantown and Fillmore districts.
In a statement issued on Monday, Safeway revealed that they had made the decision to extend the closing date to January 2025. This extension aims to provide the community and the city with ample time to establish a comprehensive transition plan. Mayor London Breed warmly welcomed this announcement, highlighting her recent meeting with Align Real Estate, the store’s new owner. Together, they explored interim solutions to ensure that essential services would continue to be available in the area.
Apart from offering groceries, the Safeway store on Webster Street also provides prescription fulfillment services and banking facilities. Mayor Breed acknowledged the pivotal role the Fillmore’s Safeway has played in fostering community spirit, particularly among the elderly population. She emphasized the significance of maintaining such a valuable resource in the neighborhood.
Safeway had initially disclosed its intention to close the store on January 4 after finalizing an agreement to sell the property, known as Webster Plaza, to Align Real Estate. The buyer intends to develop a mixed-use complex featuring residential and commercial spaces. However, Safeway’s unexpected decision to prolong the store’s operation for an additional year has altered the course of events.
Prior to Safeway’s recent reversal, San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston had submitted a resolution to the board of supervisors, urging the supermarket chain to reconsider its plan to shut down the store. Supervisor Preston expressed gratitude for Safeway’s responsiveness to the concerns voiced by hundreds of community members, particularly those belonging to vulnerable groups. He further emphasized the importance of fostering collaboration between Safeway, the prospective buyer, and the local community, as well as city officials, to devise a concrete plan for this significant site situated in the heart of Fillmore.
The unexpected turn of events surrounding the Fillmore Safeway has provided a glimmer of hope for the community, assuaging the fears and anxieties of countless residents who rely on the store’s services. As Safeway extends its closure date by a year, the community and city officials are presented with a unique opportunity to chart a transition plan that secures the future of essential services in this cherished neighborhood. The Fillmore district can now look forward to continued access to quality groceries, pharmaceutical services, and banking facilities, ensuring the continued well-being and cohesion of the community for the foreseeable future.