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Community News

Plaza de Santa Teresa Update -- February 16, 1999

by Elizabeth Cord - Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group

Thanks to all who are concerned about the Lucky's closure at Plaza de Santa Teresa. We of the Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group are working hard for a good outcome for our neighborhood.

Lucky's does not plan to reopen despite our neighborhood concerns. They are looking for a non-grocery tenant (Linen's & Things, Office Depot, etc). They intend to sell the property to Duckett-Wilson but will not release the Food Exclusive they hold at Plaza de Santa Teresa; this means that legally no other grocery store can ever go in there, even after Lucky's sells the property. Doesn't seem right, but our City Attorney (277-4454) has declined to look into the matter. Mayor Gonzalez (277-4237) has not been in touch or taken any action to represent us, either, to my knowledge. Councilmember Powers (277-4282) has not been in touch with me since the January meeting.

Apparently, Smart & Final was the only quasi-grocery store Lucky's was willing to consider for Plaza de Santa Teresa; since that deal fell through, they have not pursued (and will never allow) any other grocery store in there. In our attempts to get groceries for the neighborhood, we have contacted Albertson's, the national grocery chain which just bought out Lucky's. We hope that Albertson's (Mr. Mike Reuling, Vice President, (208) 395-6446) will reconsider Lucky's decision, and have assured them of neighborhood support if they cleaned up the site and opened an Albertson's or Lucky's there. Albertson's is known for their commitment to neighborhood stores.

Our one decent contact at Lucky's is Mr. Phil Pichulo (510) 678-4647; evidently he will be staying with Albertson's when the takeover is complete. If you call him, please be friendly and nice; he is really our last hope for groceries at Plaza de Santa Teresa. He has agreed to at least listen to our concerns.

Hopefully, we can convince him that this neighborhood can support a neighborhood grocery store and still shop at the super Lucky's sometimes. With all the new housing at Palmia, California Grove, and the 1200 apartments going in at the driving range, this seems like a good time for them to stay, not leave. We are also concerned for the seniors across the street from Plaza de Santa Teresa who walk over; I think they are now trying to exist with what little they can get grocery-wise from Rite-Aid (Rite-Aid cannot expand their grocery stock, as Lucky's holds the Food Exclusive and will not release it).

In the meantime, some neighbors are going to drop by the senior housing (front door on Santa Teresa) every Saturday at 3:00 to offer rides to any seniors who want to go shopping. This Saturday, February 20, will be our first, we'll see what kind of response we get.

So we are toiling on; look forward to seeing you at the March 18 meeting at Santa Teresa High School gym. Please turn out and show your support; Lucky's keeps saying that we do not have community support, because the large turnout for the 1/25/99 meeting was only because of rumors about low income housing (these rumors proved to be false). I keep insisting that the community is concerned about the grocery situation; a great turnout will help show how serious we are, and maybe make them realize that we are interested in supporting a grocery store at Plaza de Santa Teresa, particularly a nice, clean one. Let's hope they stop underestimating our community.

Hope we will have some good news by then. Call me with any questions, etc., 365-8270 or email me at STaction@aol.com

Thanks, Elizabeth Cord

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