In a move that made many Shadle Center merchants smile, Safeway has decided to move its Shadle Center store to a larger, long-vacant space formerly occupied by J.C. Penney Co.
“We’re kind of excited about it, as long as it doesn’t push us into too small of a space,” said Sean Logan, co-owner of Pet World.
“If the Safeway is sitting right next to me, I’ll get 20 times the foot traffic. I’d love that,” Logan said.
Tomlinson Black Group of Cos., Shadle’s property manager, hopes the Safeway move is part of an overall expansion of the 320,000 square-foot North Side mall.
New anchors and possibly a theater may be in Shadle’s near future, although no new leases have been signed, said Dave Black, co-president of Tomlinson Black.
The expanded Safeway will be about 55,000 square feet. Additional parking spaces will replace the current Safeway building, which will be razed later this year.
Some merchants may have to move to different spaces within the mall in order to accommodate the Safeway expansion, Black said.
Despite that annoyance, the supermarket means more foot traffic for Shadle merchants. Several tenants in the shopping center have complained about shrinking profits since local owners sold out to a California firm and vacancies skyrocketed in the mid-‘70s.
Safeway’s expansion helps fill some of the void created when J.C. Penney left Shadle Center in 1991 in favor of the newly renovated NorthTown Mall.
Other merchants - along with shoppers - followed suit, and Shadle owners filed for bankruptcy protection later that year.