Business & Real Estate

Petrovich, Raley’s spoke about Curtis Park development

Developer Paul Petrovich waits to speak to the City Council before its vote last November to reject a Safeway and gas station at Curtis Park Village.
Developer Paul Petrovich waits to speak to the City Council before its vote last November to reject a Safeway and gas station at Curtis Park Village.

Scrambling to fill a crucial commercial vacancy in his Curtis Park Village project, developer Paul Petrovich negotiated with Raley’s recently about opening a supermarket there.

The talks ended without a deal, said Raley’s spokeswoman Chelsea Minor.

The unsuccessful negotiations represent the latest twist in the increasingly contentious fight between Petrovich and city officials over the commercial direction of the development after the City Council in November rejected his plan to lure Safeway to the site just north of Sutterville Road. The council based its decision on Safeway’s and Petrovich’s insistence that the store include a 16-nozzle gas station, which many residents of the nearby Curtis Park neighborhood found objectionable.

Furious at the rejection, Petrovich told city officials he would build a discount Grocery Outlet at Curtis Park Village instead of a Safeway. But in an apparent about-face, last week he sued the City Council, demanding that its vote be overturned and Safeway be allowed into Curtis Park Village with its gas pumps.

Signs advertising a Grocery Outlet have recently been taken down. Officials with Grocery Outlet couldn’t be reached for comment.

Minor said Raley’s discussions with Petrovich occurred “over the last two months.” The store at Curtis Park Village would have supplemented, not replaced, the existing Raley’s on Freeport Boulevard, which is about a mile away from Petrovich’s development. She said Raley’s is still planning to build a new Freeport store a block from the existing store, on property that once housed Capital Nursery.

She added that while Raley’s operates gas stations at 13 locations, the talks with Petrovich never included the possibility of building a station at the Curtis Park site.

Minor wouldn’t say if the Curtis Park store would have carried the Raley’s brand or that of its Bel Air subsidiary.

“We negotiated with Paul but were unable to come to an agreement,” she said. “We’re not in current or ongoing conversations with Paul.”

She wouldn’t say why the negotiations didn’t come to fruition.

City Councilman Jay Schenirer, who represents the area, said city officials are waiting to see what Petrovich does about finding an anchor tenant for the development’s commercial center. “Really we’re just waiting for the developer to make some decisions and let the community know what he is doing,” said Schenirer, who was among the seven City Council members who voted against the Safeway gas station.

“We’ve invested many, many hours into this in the past four or five years, and at this point it’s not in our hands,” he said.

Curtis Park Village, occupying 72 acres on what used to be a toxic railyard, is the city’s second-largest infill development.

Petrovich declined comment, saying in an email that he won’t speak to The Sacramento Bee because of its “extreme negative bias towards the project and me.”

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler