“No retailer ever wants to be first,” said Bill McLeod, executive director of the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District. “Safeway is going to be such a huge traffic generator that it’s going to signal to other retailers that this is a great neighborhood.”
The once blighted area is slowly attracting new retailers. Locally owned Fifth Street Hardware opened this summer, and popular bar and coffee house Busboys and & Poets is expected to open within two months, McLeod said. The neighborhood hopes to attract more retail and restaurants, though McLeod said development has slowed with the economic downturn.
Earlier today Safeway had a VIP event with executives flying in from California. On Thursday there is a RSVP tour with the district manager at 2pm. A pre-opening for the public begins at 4pm and ends at 8pm. The grand opening will be Friday at 8am and Mayor Fenty will arrive at noon for a ribbon cutting.
I’ll be attending the 2pm tour and plan to take plenty of photos. I’ll create a flickr stream and post them Thursday evening.
UPDATE (9/11/2008 10:35am) – PQLiving attended yesterday’s VIP event and has some photos and impressions.
The CityVista Safeway will include some of the company’s latest features such as the first Safeway in the city equipped with a nut bar, wine cellar, and an open-flame hearth oven within the full-service scratch bakery. The hearth oven, where Artisan breads will be baked fresh daily, will be the focal point for the full-service bakery with the nut bar offering a wide selection of warm, ready-to-eat nuts that can be flavored or ground on site to create spreads and peanut butter.
Customers will be able to enjoy the new amenities found in many Safeway stores, such as a Starbucks Coffee bar and Bergmann’s Dry Cleaners, along with the more traditional offerings of a pharmacy, full-service deli, meat counter, floral shop and seafood department.
We reported last week that the store hours will be 5AM-midnight and that Mayor Fenty will attend the ribbon cutting at noon on the day of the grand opening.