New Safeway opening at the Arbutus Village redevelopment this week

Jun 17 2020, 3:26 pm

The anchor retailer at Arbutus Village in Vancouver’s Westside is making a comeback at 9 am on Thursday, June 18.

Safeway has a new location, spanning over 40,000 sq ft, within the first phase of the seven-acre redevelopment of the shopping centre — Building A on the northeast corner of the site.

Store manager Franco Lucarelli told Daily Hive Urbanized this is a full-service store, with the typical offerings such as a pharmacy, Starbucks, and various departments, as well as a new dried meat section. It is larger than the footprint of the store’s previous location at the indoor mall.

The interior design of the store is similar to the newly-opened location at 1641 Davie Street in downtown’s West End.

safeway arbutus village

New Safeway at Arbutus Village redevelopment. (Safeway)

The store has taken the unique opportunity to adopt all of the necessary health safety measures prior to its opening. There will not be a traditional grand opening due to the ongoing health crisis.

“We’re looking forward to coming back into the community. I had the opportunity to work in the store 15 years ago as an assistant manager, so I’m very happy to be back here. It’s one of the fondest and greatest memories, it’s a great community here in Arbutus Village,” said Lucarelli.

Parking is located underground, where there will eventually be 900 vehicle parking stalls, including about 300 for businesses and residential visitors.

safeway arbutus village

New Safeway at Arbutus Village redevelopment. (Safeway)

Larco Developments is the developer of the overall complex of four buildings, and architectural firm DIALOG is behind the design.

Both Building A and Building B are built on the former ground-level parking lot of the property, with Arbutus Street as its frontage. A new east-west public street separates these buildings.

Building A consists of eight storeys, with 125 affordable homes above the levels with Safeway and smaller retail units.

Under a non-profit partnership led by YWCA Metro Vancouver, this building includes 26 shelter rate studio units, 43 units rented at rates affordable to people who earn up to BC Housing’s Housing Income Limits, and 56 units with rents about 10% below market rate.

2133 Nanton Avenue Vancouver Arbutus Village

Artistic rendering of the 2018 rezoning application of Arbutus Village at 2133 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver. (DIALOG / Larco Investments)

Building A’s residential floor will reach completion later this year, and this will be followed shortly by Building B, which contains a BC Liquor Store and BMO branch.

All four buildings replacing the 1970s indoor mall will offer a total of 269,000 sq ft of commercial space and over 500 homes, including 243 market rental homes within the future Block C and Block D buildings, reaching up to 12 storeys in height. As of today, the overall development is just under 50% complete.

A “neighbourhood house” community centre and daycare will be built to serve the area’s residents.

2133 Nanton Avenue Vancouver Arbutus Village

Site of the redevelopment of Arbutus Village at 2133 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver. (DIALOG / Larco Investments)

2133 Nanton Avenue Vancouver Arbutus Village

Proposed redevelopment of Arbutus Village at 2133 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver. (DIALOG / Larco Investments)

Elsewhere in the Vancouver Westside, Safeway at Oakridge Centre is closed due to the shopping mall’s construction activities, but it will be replaced by a new store within the future redevelopment.

The West Point Grey store on West 10th Avenue near Sasamat Street also closed in 2018 and was demolished shortly after. Property owner Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and property manager BentallGreenOak have indicated their intention to redevelop the three-acre property.