Three years after acquiring the former Capital Nursery site on Freeport Boulevard, the Raley’s grocery chain announced Wednesday it has submitted plans to build a new store there to replace a nearby supermarket it has operated for 57 years.
The timing of construction will be dictated by how quickly the plans are reviewed by city officials, said company spokeswoman Chelsea Minor.
“The sooner the better,” she said.
The new 55,000-square-foot store will be just one block from the slightly larger existing Raley’s at 4850 Freeport Blvd. That store has been one of the West Sacramento-based chain’s top volume operations, but structural problems prevented more renovations there, the company said in a statement.
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“We have simply run out of options for expansions or updates,” the statement said.
The new store will have a design and color scheme designed to fit in with the nearby Land Park neighborhood, an open floor plan and abundant use of natural light, Minor said.
“You won’t feel like you’re surrounded by four walls,” she said.
Also planned are landscaped and shaded outdoor seating areas aimed at making the store a community gathering place – not a place where people “just shop and leave,” the spokeswoman said.
Minor, the company’s director of public relations, added that the new store will not include a gas station.
Wednesday’s announcement is the latest news from a company that has been streamlining its operations, closing stores deemed expendable while looking strategically at limited expansion.
Last week, Raley’s officials said they intend to build a “moderate-sized,” 36,000-square-foot store at Howe Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, the former site of the Hubacher auto dealership. Construction is set to begin on that store next year with an opening set for the second quarter of 2017.
The company also has announced it is looking to build a new store in downtown Sacramento, with many real estate professionals suggesting it could locate it at the former Greyhound bus terminal at Seventh and L streets.
The new Freeport store will be developed by MO Capital, a Bay Area company that already has opened an office in the neighborhood to oversee the planning process.
No plans are in place for the existing Freeport store after Raley’s leaves.
“We’re currently working with the owner of that property to look at options,” Minor said.
There has been widespread speculation about Raley’s plans since it acquired the 9.6-acre Capital Nursery site in June 2012. Initial plans called for the nursery to lease the property back from Raley’s, but it closed three months later.