Emeryville New Seasons Market Opening Delayed Indefinitely

Published On January 19, 2018 | By Rob Arias | Local Business, News & Commentary, Planning & Development

The realigned Shellmound Way opened to traffic back in mid-December giving eager residents hope that the opening of the Emeryville New Seasons Market couldn’t be far away.

Reports of a slowdown in activity at the location as well as the sudden cancellation of their planned Hayes Valley opening brought concern to neighbors.

The E’ville Eye has indeed confirmed that the Emeryville New Seasons Market (NSM) will not open in 2018 and no opening date has been provided.

Neighbors have reported a slowdown in activity in the past few weeks.

New Seasons was slated to open last fall before construction delays reportedly caused by utility companies threatened to cause them to miss their window to open prior to the busy holiday season.

In July 2017, project owners CCRP applied for and were granted a weekend noise ordinance waiver to allow them to stay on track (Councilmembers Medina and Patz opposing).

Concilmembers Christian Patz and Ally Medina both opposed granting the noise ordinance waiver.

A “stop work” order was issued on August 29th after a second complaint was received by neighbors at nearby apartments including EMME.

CCRP Senior Vice President Tim Bacon did not dispute the violations but clarified that they were not for utilizing heavy equipment but unloading tools, climbing scaffolding and some manual shoveling 15 minutes prior to the established 10 a.m. start time. This waiver was discussed and subsequently revoked by our council 4-1 after a public hearing on September 19th (Donahue opposing).

Earlier this week, an astute resident noticed the New Seasons website has been updated to read “Opening in 2019” (this blurb has since been deleted) amid rumors that New Seasons was pulling out. “We are aware that New Seasons is working out some internal operational issues,” noted City Center Realty Partners President Mark Stefan when contacted. “While their opening is delayed, their lease remains current and we hope they open as soon as they possibly can.”

When contacted, a New Seasons Public Relations representative provided the following statement about the status of the Emeryville location:

“Today’s retail and grocery landscape is transforming. As a progressive neighborhood grocery store, we want to best meet the changing needs of our customers while staying true to our mission and values as we grow. As a part of our annual evaluation for our store growth strategy, we have decided not to open the Emeryville location of New Seasons Market in 2018. This decision was not made lightly, and we remain dedicated to deepening our commitment to local and regional food, sustainable business practices, staff and community.

Emeryville is a wonderful community. We have received much support and welcoming messages over the past year, and we thank you sincerely for your enthusiasm. We hope to serve the customers in this neighborhood in the future.​”

The ‘transforming landscape’ that NSM may be referring to is the entry of the behemoth Amazon.com into the grocery business by acquiring Whole Foods last year.

NSM would not commit to a specific timeline when we followed up. “We don’t have a specific timeline or additional information to currently share.”


ADVERTISEMENT
tbr-playoff-ad

The NSM representative also noted that this decision was independent of their decision to terminate the Hayes Valley lease which was based on “operational complexities, construction delays and other considerations specific to that site”. New Seasons would not point specifically to the construction delays as the reasons for the longer delay. “There were a variety of factors that played into our decision to not open the Emeryville location this year.”

On a more positive note, the finishing touches on Shellmound Way are expected to be completed soon. Bicycle advocates have been angered by vehicles parking in established bike lanes and the lack of green striping that was shown in the construction renderings. “The green bike lane striping was delayed due to wet weather, but was scheduled to start [this] week,” a CCRP spokesperson provided to us noting the process should take a few weeks. “We are also going to paint the curb in front of the office building red to help drivers adjust to the fact that they cannot park here.”

The parking garage above the New Seasons is in fact open with weekday hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 6 a.m. to midnight.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

51 Responses to Emeryville New Seasons Market Opening Delayed Indefinitely

  1. Angel-Max Guerrero says:

    This is incredibly disappointing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tga fir the very useful update.

  3. Tralee Johnson says:

    This is a great scoop. Thanks.

    It is frightening to imagine the proposition of an new structure in Emeryville sitting empty indefinitely.

    What causes the high rate of Pub Market food stalls turnover? Was it planned that way or is there a financial problem i.e. high rents?

    And while I’m commenting on Emeryville commerce, is InNOut still slated to take over Burger King?

    • Rob Arias says:

      The turnover I believe was planned to accommodate changing food trends (e.g., more gourmet, healthier, organic, etc.). In-n-out pulled their permit application in November. I hear some of the other tenants expressed concern over the gridlock of snaking vehicle lines it may have caused.

      • Anonymous says:

        Haha, nice try ;-). The turnover was a result of the new ownership jacking up the rents and demanding the longstanding businesses ‘audition’ and then fulfill a wide range of new requirements combined with the nearly doubling of the minimum wage.

        The existing family run businesses were driven out in a tag team effort between the city’s minimum wage ordinance and the new ownership. The only way to survive in that environment is alcohol and highly expensive niche food. Gourmet, healthy, and organic are no more popular than they ever were in this community.

        If you doubt that, look at the restaurant tenancy at Bay Street and everywhere else in Eville. The new owners at the Public Market had a ‘concept’ that they imposed on the community and drove out the neighborhood market. Truly sucks that in a supposedly ‘progressive’ community, almost 100% of the family run non-chain restaurants are gone.

        Emeryville is a mess.

      • Anonymous says:

        Screw the other tenants, get In-N-Out in there!

      • Jake says:

        This is really disturbing information, Rob. Thanks for getting the news out there because the tenants at PM are not getting this from the developer. We (largely small, family-run restaurants — contrary to what the anonymous poster suggested) are all struggling in there due to the construction; sales are way down this year while wages keep going up and the rent is high. Most of the tenants are having a hard time making ends meet. We had been eagerly awaiting the grocery store to help revitalize the area after the construction mess and to help bring much-needed evening traffic. Given the cost to our businesses due to the grocery construction, it is so disappointing to see that it’s now going to sit vacant indefinitely. It seems like there’s no end in sight over there.

      • Jenni Li says:

        Anonymous: You nailed it. And meanwhile they’re obsessed with issuing tickets for anyone parked in their (mostly empty) lots for more than 90 minutes, chasing away even more customers.

        Whoever owns this property clearly flunked out of both the Harvard Business School and the Dale Carnegie Institute.

  4. Cindy says:

    mixed use areas problematic

  5. Cap'n Dave says:

    “Noise complaints”…they live next to a frickin’ railroad track! Hello??? Ugh…

  6. Sarah says:

    sound of heart breaking

    Please find some good news to report about city council becuase it can’t just be vetoing the dog park, screwing us out of a grocery store, bending over to crime and the homeless and new LED street lights.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good news about Emeryville City Council: they successfully replaced the Pledge of Allegiance with the singing of This Land is Your Land.

      (…then they changed it back)

  7. Anonymous says:

    You mean the unnecessarily blinding LED street lights? Those are Ridiculous!

  8. Anonymous says:

    And if Fresh Seasons won’t open up in a reasonable amount of time, can’t we get a different grocer in there? It sounds like FS is backing out anyhow if they’re waiting to see what happens with the Amazon grocery concept, and only coming in if Amazon flops.

    And what about our community? We’re forced to wait it out while they leave the space sitting empty for at least another year, probably attracting vandalism and keeping our police force busy? They probably took the 2019 off of their website because they realized they’d raise the ire of the community which has been waiting a Long Time for a regular grocery store.

    There are other chains with alternative concepts like Aldi and Lidl that are becoming very popular in the United States. We should bring in a reasonably priced store with good quality foods. I’m so tired of these overpriced yuppie style stores like Whole Foods that sell each piece of food like it’s a piece of artwork. Does anyone realize how much lower food prices are like in other parts of the country, and what nice offerings and service some of those stores offer?

    • Anonymous says:

      You should be happy New Sleasons is not in there & with any luck never will be.

      • Anonymous says:

        If this indeed was a comment from the NSM CEO than it is disappointing and it sounds like they don’t want to be in here. Sad. I love NSM in Portland, OR area, their products, foods, etc. Prices…not so much as many of their prices tend to be higher than W. Foods.I have visited NSM in San Jose, CA. Disappointing and NOTHING like in Portland-Vancouver area. If they decide to stay and to thrive, they would need to deliver quality products, service, food like it is offered in Portland-Vancouver area and not what is offered in the San Jose store.

      • Rob Arias says:

        I’m going to go out on a limb and say the CEO of a big company has better things to do than comment on an Emeryville online news site. Please, no impersonating people or I’ll have to moderate comments.

    • Jenni Li says:

      Who is Fresh Seasons?

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is very disappointing. I am already starting to regret the decision to move to Emeryville, mainly because of the high crime. The new store and surrounding development was helping me keep up my hopes for the area becoming safer and nicer and justifying the high rents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Be happy you were not the ten new hires for Emeryville who were fired or forced to relocate to PN to keep their jobs 14 Days before Christmas. No noitice immediate term.

      • Anonymous says:

        New Seasons treats their employees as if they are disposable. Not who they claim to be at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone moving to Walnut Creek and Vacaville

    • Sarah says:

      I feel the exact same way. I was really holding out for this store and hoping that between the construction ending, NS coming and the Sherman Williams bringing parks, ped/bike bridge, and Bart shuttle that things were on the up swing. But I am so close to those homeless camps, my building was robbed repeatedly over xmas season, trash and piss is everywhere (I picked up a 10 lb bag of trash from just my block, including the starbucks venti cups filled with urine from the couple living out of their car), the police are busy with armed robberies, and now this- I don’t have the energy to pay this much to live this poor.

  10. Tralee Johnson says:

    Emeryville Council Member, John Bauters, is actively seeking a way to make Emeryville a quiet zone city (for train

    John is collecting signatures of residents and business owners in Emeryville who favor getting grant money to investigate mitigating train horns in Emeryville.

    Deadline Sunday Jan. 28 2018.

    Send an email to John Bauters at

    jbauters@emeryville.org

    Subject line:

    “Send me instructions how to sign the Train Horn petition”

    He’s made it QUICK and simple. No paper required. It’s done online.

    Deadline Sunday Jan 28 2018

    If horns affect your sleep or wellbeing, take action now. Show your support and contact John Bauters.

    PS (Snarky responses about train horns are not helpful.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for letting us know about this petition! I hope more people learn about it and sign it.

      • Tralee Johnson says:

        Our building is printing the letter from John to distribute to our residents. Do you have a circle of friends on your email list to whom you can distribute the announcememt? It’s word of mouth at this point and a short deadline. You are welcome.

    • Sarah says:

      Jesus, really? You moved next to train tracks and now want there to not be the sounds of a train? Good to know that Bauters’ priorities continue to not be on community as a whole, crime, or supporting businesses, but rather to support pet projects that directly benefit him.

      • david says:

        lol. are you kidding? Why so cynical? Those trains have been the bane of my existence living in this city for 7+ years. I get woken up at 2am and 4am routinely from those damn horns.
        How many people living in this city wouldn’t love to silence those horns? This is exactly the kind of stuff I want my elected representatives doing. I voted against Bauters when he ran for city council, but rallying organized support for something like this is what will win me over.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can the city take legal action against New Seasons for the damage to local economic development that their vacancy will cause?

    If not, the city should begin introducing taxes or fines on vacancy of zoned and developed commercial spaces.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can the local businesses take action against the city for the damage to local economic development the minimum wage caused?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the ‘Fair’ Workweek. You can’t force businesses to come to Emeryville. And they would be foolish to come here. Why come to a city that is actively and aggressively attacking its local businesses? Why come to a city where the city council is in the pocket of the labor unions? Why come to a city with high crime, higher rents, and the worst labor laws in the state?

      • Sarah says:

        Exactly— why would they want to come here? City council has made it clear they’d rather try to police the trains and make sure no one’s sleep is distrubed at 9:45 a.m. that support businesses, get construction over and done, and create a safe, clean, welcoming environment. It’ll be so quiet after the “quiet zone” is instituted you’ll be able to hear the people breaking into your cars and pooping in your bushes with almost no effort.

      • Anonymous says:

        So what’s the plan for voting the bums out of city council? A lot of people seem to be fed up with these policies and yet RULE party members rack in the votes. Where’s the opposition party to rally around?

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem is that the whole thing is a farce. Whoever gets the Democratic endorsement wins because no one pays attention to local politics. People just vote based on the endorsement.

        So the políticos figured out they just need to focus on the endorsement. The group that makes that endorsement is where the election happens, and it’s done quietly out of the public eye. Political favors are repaid in exchange for endorsing the ‘chosen’ candidates.

        Current council members hand select a couple of candidates. They then help insure those candidates get the endorsement.

        The Councilmembers do the bidding of Democratic financial sources. Why do you think we suddenly have the highest minimum wage in the country and the Fair Workweek? Were these the big issues citizens were talking about prior to the election? Nope.

        Councilmembers then strongly ‘encourage’ the endorsement go to their selected candidates. Lo and behold, it does. And those candidates then have a nearly unbeatable advantage.

        After two or three election cycles, a small faction controls 100% of the city council. The Democratic endorsement is a sham. And you’re only going to get it now if you’re cozy with the existing council.

        Democracy dies in darkness. In Emeryville, we are at the stage where people are poking it with a stick and wondering WTF just happened.

      • david says:

        Is “Sarah” some kind of Russian Troll? who the hell supports loud train horns at night? I fully expect my elected city council representatives to drive initiatives like silencing the trains. I also expect them to support policies that reduce crime and create a favorable environment for businesses like New Seasons and support a living wage for employees.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lots of people don’t support the idea that the public should fund train noise mitigation for wealthy homeowners who bought homes next to railroad tracks. It’s the opposite of progressive.

        And yes, lots of people like the train horns. They are part of the city soundscape.

      • Rob Arias says:

        Anon 12:01. Your assessment it pretty spot on with one with amendment. Dianne Martinez sits on the Alameda County Democratic Party Committee (ACDCC), the body that makes these endorsements. Martinez now wields ENORMOUS influence on who gets these endorsements. This was on display in 2016 when five Democrats ran for council. So who got these key endorsements? It wasn’t the African-American candidate Brynnda Collins with a long history of involvement in our city. It was Ally Medina who was shoe-horned onto a committee prior to the election, went to one meeting and lied about attending a shoreline cleanup (I know because John Bauters snitched on her … total weasel). Medina works for a union and “kissed the ring” of Martinez and Labor groups ensuring their grip on our city.

        Bauters complained about how unfair the process was to me in 2014 but he’s since also kissed the ring so he’s content with the process now.

        You’re right that the process is totally non-transparent. You won’t find any information online. I reached out to their chair Robin Torello during the last election several times and she never bothered to acknowledge my inquiries.

        The ACDCC was under investigation in 2014 for campaign violations. Totally shady group.
        https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/04/09/alameda-county-democratic-party-committee-under-investigation/

        You’re right though, nobody pays attention to local politics. The food and crime posts get all the traffic. I’m sorry, but this is the way it is and is unlikely to change.

      • sarah says:

        David, You clearly haven’t been following the Russian meddling closely enough if I come across as a troll. No, I also I don’t think the Oakland recycling center should have been closed after some NIMBY snobs didn’t like the sounds of shopping carts where they’d bought their condos- cutting off a last source of income for the people now sleeping in front of city hall and using the sidewalk as a toilet. I certainly think there are better things to focus on at a time like this. When’s the last time you spoke to anyone in the EPD? I spent an hour with one of the officers last week. They’re short staffed, over worked and underfunded. They’ve basically said there is no point in calling them unless you are actively being robbed at that moment by someone with a gun, because they don’t really have resources for anything less urgent, given the huge uptick in crime and no increase in staff. I certainly support basic services that benefit all the residents over big $$$ items that support a select few. If you like, I’ll send you over a great set of ear plugs, or some common sense, as moving directly next to train tracks, noise should have been a consideration, as it was I am sure reflected in the price you paid for your home. When the neighborhood doesn’t smell like pee and the police department isn’t jammed up by another daily armed robbery I will be glad to go along this kind of bougie project. As it stands, I can’t really hear the train over the screaming people, sirens, blaring car horns and leaf blowers.

  12. Fotchface says:

    Emeryville, the epicenter of NIMBYism in the Bay Area.

  13. marlon says:

    I have been an Emeryville resident for 21 years. born and raised, and was also a worker who helped build NSM! I can say that I was very excited to have a new grocery store in the city.
    I can also second that the noise was very strict, and never started earlier then 7. On the other hand, knowing what the PM used to look like, when it was full of mom & pop family owned buisnesses its very sad to see what It is today.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get Veggie Grill in the public market… and Good Earth Grocery!

Leave a Reply