After a three-year hiatus, plans are back on the books for a complete overhaul of Pavilion supermarket on Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena.
Representatives from Abertsons, the parent company of Pavilions/Vons, gave an update recently on the store’s proposed massive remodel during a South Pasadena Economic Development Committee meeting.
Albertsons and Pavilions/Vons went through a merger in late 2014 “which kind of put the project on the back burner for awhile,” explained South Pasadena’s City Treasure Gary Pia, who also serves on the local Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. “They really want to do this project and it seemed to resonate well with the committee.”
Representatives from the grocery chain outlined plans to redevelop the Pavilions store, detailing what they would like to do with the property at Fair Oaks Avenue and Monterey Road. “Essentially, they want to move the physical part of the store from the back of the lot and bring it forward to the front at Fair Oaks Avenue,” explained Pia. “They would use a podium approach, with parking under the store. It wouldn’t be subterranean parking. They would construct the building on top, or above the parking area, so it’s not like you would be parking (completely) underground.”
The project calls for other retail stores facing Fair Oaks Avenue to be part of the building, according to Pia.
A major expansion of the store will increase its size from 32,000 square feet to close to 60,000 square feet while providing a larger variety of products and new services.
One of the challenges facing store management, noted Pia, is what to do with the pharmacy while the new Pavilions is under construction. One option, noted Pia, is to relocate it to the Vons store one block north on Fair Oaks. “They don’t have the intention of shutting down the pharmacy because people rely on it,” Pia said. “They plan to keep the pharmacy going during construction.”
Pavilions officials shared wall treatments and other store design features with the economic committee during their presentation at the chamber offices.
“It’s really harmonious with South Pas,” said Pia of the new-look Pavilions, “and the feeling around the room was really positive.”
Pia stressed that the grocery representatives were only showing preliminary designs and are at the beginning of the entitlement process with the City of South Pasadena. He said Pavilions officials plan to reach out to the community by holding meetings, much like they did three years ago when they first looked at revamping the store.
“My feeling is they are coming in with a concept that really fits nicely with the city,” said Pia. “They are really eager to make a long term commitment.”
The city treasurer says the Vons’ lease will expire in about five years “and I don’t thinks it’s their intention to renew it,” he said, noting he’s unaware of what would become of the space.
Once under construction, which Pia says won’t likely begin until 2019, will take about 15 to 19 months. “The preliminary indication on what direction they would like to take was well received by the Economic Development Committee,” he stressed, adding, “the store is going to be a real blessing for the community.”