Albertsons closing in HMB

By on Tue, June 6, 2006

Half Moon Bay’s Albertsons supermarket will close in early August.

The Albertsons chain, once the second-largest in the country with 2,500 stores, has been struggling for years.  It was sold this month to a group of companies that included the Supervalu grocery store and CVS drugstore chains.  After Supervalu and CVS cherry-picked the locations they wanted for their stores, the remaining 660 Albertsons stores were to be operated as a separate company.  The company has closed many of these locations nationwide, and our own local Albertsons is among them.

The Half Moon Bay store has 37 employees, according to company representative Quyen Ha. The company is closing 37 of 168 stores in Northern California and Nevada.

Not a big surprise at all.

Trader Joe’s, please.

Hopefully we can replace Albertson’s with a Trader Joe’s.

ohn Lynch

OH PLEASE! YES Trader Joes!!

Finally a bipartisan consensus!  TJ’s for me too.

Comment 5
Tue, June 6, 2006 12:31pm
All my comments

Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods would be fabulous.

But I bet HMB local merchants will resist.

Brian Dantes
El Granada

How about a state of the art gym with a pool, spa, day care, locker rooms, health bar, and showers?

Sorry, just daydreaming.


Fabulous products at TJs! They’re on the lookout for new location opportunities—with this lacuna maybe they can be persuaded.

ken king

I vote for Trader Joe’s too.
El Granada

I vote for a Whole Foods, with a bank nearby so that I can afford to shop there.

Short of that, a TJ’s would be great. 

Or an 18 hole golf simluation facility with full bar and cigar lounge. 


If folks are serious about this, I suggest you start showing up at HMB Council meetings and making your desires known. But as I said above, I bet this doesn’t stand much of a chance. A vendor like Trader Joe’s or Whole Food’s isn’t going to come over here without support and encouragement from the local government, and I bet HMB local merchants will actively be against such an idea. You can bet that HMB Council won’t help out—look how they’ve shot everything else down (like a movie theatre).

Brian Dantes
El Granada

You can count me in for a trader joe’s. maybe the boys and girls club would work there to.

moss beach

Maybe this is an appropriate time to think about the future of both the shopping center and the surrounding intersections.

Half Moon Bay is currently facing a $4 million shortfall in funding for the widening of Hwy 92 alongside the shopping center.  I don’t know if the city will simply find the funds needed to proceed as planned, or if the project will need to be adjusted in any way.

Clearly, the way traffic flows around the shopping center is problematic.  The roads serve three purposes, and none of them are well served at all: they are the intersection of our two major highways,  they are access to the shopping center, and Hwy 92 coming in from the east is the main entrance to the city and the coastside.

There has been talk in recent years of some new civic projects in Half Moon Bay - especially, of a new police station.  Perhaps now is the time to consider the following:

A plan for a new civic center where much of the shopping center now stands, which could contain not only a new police station, but perhaps also a new town hall, and maybe other buildings to meet the needs of the city and perhaps the entire coastside. 

A realignment of the Hwy 1/Hwy 92 junction, that would more safely and expeditiously allow traffic to move through, while providing better access to the downtown area, and a nicer appearance, too.

A combination of municipal bonds for the civic center and state funds for the highways.

Is this too wild or visionary to discuss?  Change brings opportunity, and this area does not seem to have much of a long term vision other than “more of the same”.  Maybe this can be the starting point for a vision of the Half Moon Bay of tomorrow.

Hal M Bogner
Half Moon Bay
<email>[email protected]</email>

I really wish they had an alternative already lined up, a trader joes would be nice.  Safeway has a hard enough time keeping there shelves stocked, produce fresh and above all, employees able to answer questions and bag groceries.  I don’t mind bagging my own groceries, but for goodness sakes lower your prices and don’t ask if I need help out when you only have one person bagging for 6 check stands open!!  I can tell this is going to be a big mess, unless Safeway is ready to accommodate.

Just spoke with customer relations at Trader Joe’s HQ.  They will submit zip code 94019 to real estate department.

how about a traffic circle with a park and a wetland in the middle.

The shopping center, even with its fresh coat of paint, is an eyesore. North Main Street isn’t a lot better, especially since a lot of it consists of the back-end of that same shopping center.  I’d love to see the city exercise some imagination on how to improve that triangle as one first things that visitors to Half Moon Bay see.  Surrounded by highways, it’s not a good location for a park or a wetland.

OK, here is a the traffic circle idea:  Main street is one-way north from 92 to HWY 1.  HW1 is south only from Main and 1 to main and 92. 92 is west only from 1 and 92 west to the current 92 and main. there would be no traffic lights necessary between 92 and one north or south. The current shopping center in the middle of the (albertsons) would have an access problem. maybe the city could put a redeveleopment bond to the voters to get that hidoeus strip mall torn down and replacec with different access configuration.

Go to jamacia way in Boston on Google earth if you want to see a traffic circle of comparable size. I am no traffic engineer but I think it would increase traffic flow substantially with adding the less asphaltthan other alternatives.

in in for an indian casino.

TJ’s would be wonderful.  But proof must be demonstrated to TJ Corporate that the Coastside would support the store.  Barry would you consider setting up a peition for all to sign?  Recall signing a petition to put a store in Pacifica and TJ Corp. vetoed it….

Forget Whole Foods - they need a population of 200,000 within a 20 minute drive.

Also, Whole foods requires a large number of college-educated residents. With the state of our local educational system, does this exist?

Trader Joes doesn’t offer any information…they take snail mail if you have the time to write and mail letters.

I’m up for a casino. Or a frog pond. Target anyone? How about expanding the dollar store? New middle school? Shooting range? ESL center?

How about renting out 10x10 grassy patches of land so people can grow their own organic veggies in this open area?





I’m in for an indian casino where albertsons was.  Lots of parking. It would create jobs.  We need a good tourist attraction.

I agree with Tina. Safeway is lacking. Our neighbor told me yesterday that she bought 2 cartons of milk and got them home and they were both rotten. She took them back and asked the stock person in the back how could they be rotten. He said to her” you have no idea how long this stuff sits out until it gets put in the refrigerator!” Disgusting! I have had the same problem with produce. Get it home and it is all rotten. Trader Joes or Whole foods would be awesome as they carry the best quality and variety of foods.

About a year ago (and this may not still be true) I was talking to a Trader Joe’s manager in Daly City.  I was told that Trader Joe’s owned a controlling interest in Albertsons.  Given the merry-go-round of corporate acquisitions, that may still not be the case, but it would bode well for a Trader Joe’s here in HMB if it were still true. 

To Lisa McKenzie—what was the contact number at Trader Joe’s headquarters?  If a lot of us called it might help. 

I’ve also talked to store managers at Mollie Stone’s in Belmont and they have an interest in coming over here as well. 

As someone on a special diet (wheatless), there are so many things that I just can’t get here.  It would be so wonderful to have a Trader Joe’s, Mollie Stone’s or Whole Foods here.

I’m sure that if Albertson’s isn’t replaced by another market that Safeway will accomodate all right—by raising prices to even more ridiculous levels.

Any item that is carried by both Target and Safeway is nearly double Target’s price at Safeway.

Please, please…forget “tourist attractions”.  Let’s not turn this parcel into another foo-foo waste of timne likme main st.  HMB could use something utilitarian that people need on a daily basis…that would be food, and not just the plain old super market stuff.  How about some gourmet shops…smoked fish, meats, etc.  Would not hurt to have a realistically priced clothing store either.

I agree with Mikey.  The local economy here has suffered with the closure of Devil’s Slide and spike in fuel costs, mainly because it has been geared to attract the almighty tourist/visitor dollar. We need basic necessities such as affordable places to buy clothing, shoes, etc.

I just called Trader Joes Headquarters 626-441-1177, and found out that in order for Trader Joes to consider coming here, someone from Half Moon Bay City Council needs to contact them and let them know that there is interest.  Then their real estate department will need to get a lot of answers about the coast and they will determine whether it is beneficial to build here.  So the first step is to get someone from city council to contact Trader Joes.  Here is the contact info:
Private Company, Headquarters Location
800 S Shamrock Ave., Monrovia CA 91016-6346,
(626)441-1177, (626)441-9573 fax,

I also think if enough people contact headquarters by calling the 626-441-1177 number and ask for customer relations and let them know we want a Trader Joes here and emphasize the fact that we only have one large grocery store, they may do the research to realize this would be a great place to open up a Trader Joes!

I shopped at Albertson’s and will miss them…I won’t shop SW ....I guess it will be Cunha…

Agreed.  Anything we can put in here that LOCAL people can purchase, would succeed.  We are so darn focused on “tourist” money that we forget that LOCAL’s have more than enough dollars to spend.  I would LOVE to spend hundreds of dollars a week/month on products/services on the coast side but there are only a few stores on the coast that meets my needs. 

Anybody that can capture my need at a REASONABLE price (I am not paying $20 for a hamburger), has my business.  This is a market craving local businesses.

Time to get off my soap box…

Two redevelopment ideas for Albertsons:

(1)  Hello, talk about a perfect location for the movie theater we have wanted for so long!  Reduce, re-use and recycle.  No need to develop open space for theater with an opportunity like this.

(2) Yes, TJ’s, Mollie Stone’s, or Whole Foods would be great, but how about copying SF’s new Embarcadero Ferry Building concept with many different gourmet specialty food shops selling local organic meats, cheeses, breads and veggies!  Not only does this provide the coastsiders with the local grocery service, but is also a tourist attraction at the same time.

Moss Beach

I just did a real estate search on the Albertson’s surplus real estate site to see if the property’s listed - it’s not. In fact, nothing’s listed as for sale in California, just a view CA sites for lease.

I can’t imagine that it would be difficult to successfully compete against Safeway with the right site, selection and services. But that particular mall is not the place to put a grocery store. It needs more than a face-lift: It needs a bulldozing. Strawflower has consistenty kept a friendly face on itself. The Albertsons/Rite Aid strip mall is depressing.

Coastsiders voted with their business: We will pay 30% to not be depressed by where we shop.

I agree with Steve Velyvis: People have been saying they want a local movie theatre. What is the point of bulldozing a pristine open field and then paving it over, when here we have an empty building with a huge parking lot already in place. No environmental battles to fight. It makes perfect sense.

Putting my vote in for Whole Foods here.

I agree with the people that would like to see a movie theater @ Albertsons. A number of years ago i wrote to HMB review about a movie theater & how it would help after hours business & resturants, the next week someone wrote in “we dont need a movie theater, stop it just stop the insanity of greed right now” to this day cant figure out what the insanity of greed has to do with a movie theater. But im sure the writer would go for a mosquito breeding wetlands for our sacred frogies & snakes to heck with improving the lives of the people.
Think how nice a movie theater would be for our young people & of course for me![with a senior discount.]
Sadly that whole shopping center needs help. I
remember before that center was built we only shopped @ Cunhas, my wife would get together with 2 of our friends & hit the over the hill stores for thier Wednesday sales & fill our 69 Ford dinosaur of a station wagon full of groceries.
Can we please please do things to improve the lives of us people with infrastructure improvements & not worry about tourists wetlands,froggies & snakes.Wish a froggie, snake or wetlands was discovered when they decided to foist the dump excuse me landfill on us on 92. Am a resident since 1969 when we had nothing here, still have basically nothing except more people. But hey welcome.

One more thing: somebody above mentioned that the Albertsons space is probably too big for Trader Joes. I would tend to agree. But recall that the old movie video rental place directly across from Burger King has been vacant for a long time.

The movie theatre idea seems like it would be good use of the Albertsons space. But there are other vacant spaces around town for other things that people might want.

I’m for a cinema first, Trader Joe’s second (or both!). Since I have a TJ on virtually every one of my teaching routes over the hill, I’m not as dependent on having a local one, but I’m certainly in favor.

If someone from is spearheading an effort to lure TJ here, then simply printing out the comments on this page will surely convince them of interest.

As for traffic, I like Hal Bogner’s original plan of turning 92/Main/1 into a big traffio circle. I’ve driven extensively in England and know how well they work without the need for annoying lights.

A Trader Joe’s will keep Safeway from raising prices in a non-competitive market. It might marginally affect sales at Cunha, but our loyalty to that store is great enough to keep it going.

But we desperately need a cinema, and I hope that idea is pursued vigorously.

Regarding the Strawflower shopping center looking nicer than the Albertson’s center, while that’s true it does need to be pointed out that the traffic flow through the parking at Strawflower was designed by a total moron.  The other center doesn’t have that problem.

Some people want a TJ’s there, others say the space is too big, someone else suggests “copying SF’s new Embarcadero Ferry Building concept with many different gourmet specialty food shops”.  So, wouldn’t it work to have a TJ’s _and_ some specialty shops?

Otherwise, I think a movie theatre is a good idea.  A movie theatre is the one project that I believe most of the Coastside has always been in favor of.  Is the parking lot big enough for a two screen theatre to be open while the other businesses there are open?

I’ve called the RE agent at the marketing wing of the consortium (Albertsons, LLC) managing the SF-area Albertsons properties to see if the building is for sale or for lease.

Here’s a link to a copy of the Albertsons, LLC press release regarding the deal…

I love the idea of a theatre as well!

I must be way out to lunch.  Please explain why a Cinema is a “desperate” need?

When I talked to Albertsons yesterday, I asked if they owned or leased the store. It’s leased from the shopping center owner. The person I talked to didn’t know who that was. I’m sure somebody reading this thread does, however.

Try Keets Nehran perhaps. He owns almost everything else here in HMB.

IMHO We need a reasonably priced grocery store alternative to Safeway.

Also, Albertson’s carried a lot of everyday products for the latino community that Safeway had discontinued.  Personally I’d like to see a Chavez Market replace Albertson’s.  It would save a lot of HMB’ers from having to go over the hill, especially the latino community who many times don’t have transportation and have to do thier food shopping on this side.

I agree with Tina and Lisa’s comments about Safeway (above).  Most of the staff members there are professional and nice.  However, there aren’t enough of them.  If I wanted to bag my own grocieries, I’d go to Pack-N-Save.  I love the selection at Cunha’s Market, but I’d go broke if I did all of my shopping there.

That said, I’d be thrilled if we got a Trader Joe’s in town.  If that can’t happen, a movie theatre would be great, too.

In San Luis Obispo, the got a TJ’s by doing a petition.

Of course the Albertson’s shopping area is ugly…it was built in the late 60’s and then it was a beautiful Alpha Beta! It meant that you no longer had to drive over the hill once a month to stock up. Of course we had three stores in HMB then and the El Granada Market so there were lots of choices. Losing Albertson’s is just another blow to the locals. Many of us have been priced out of Cunha. So now we only have Safeway, which already can not keep up with the demands. Many of us in Moss Beach and Montara chose to shop in Pacifica rather then HMB, because of the state of Safeway. As far as I am concerned we need another option no matter who it is….
As far as all the other alternatives….a theater, Boys and Girls Club, etc…Are you crazy…this is HMB….Seldom is there something built for the whole coastside to benifit from!

We were at the Daly City TJ’s a couple of weeks ago and they asked for my zip.  We asked why, and the clerk told us they’re looking at new locations, and specifically mentioned Pacifica.

When the slide reopens, I’m all for a TJs in Pacifica.  Much easier for me to get to than HMB.

I completely agree with Sonja.  Anything intended for the betterment of the community will be squashed.  Who cares about local dollars? Frustrating but true.  Would love a TJ or theater but already know it’s not going to happen.  Thanks city council for watching our for us. 

As for Safeway, I too always chose to shop Safeway Pacifica because the HMB store blows!


What is Chavez Market?

I would love a TJs. Whole Foods is expensive…some people would shop there, others wouldn’t.

Wonder what Albertsons shoppers would like to see go in.

I’ve lived in HMB for over 10 years and have at different times shopped at Albertsons. It seems to me that the predominant shopper is our hispanic community. As I read these great commnets on what to do with the location I’m wondering how many of us are hispanic? Our hispanic community makes up a significant part of the community and frankly few seem to shop at Safeway, preferring to shop at a store that carriers products they want and use. I think any conversations and decisions on what to do with the site needs to consider that part of the population that uses the center the most.

Another concern is where do these 37 displaced employees find work? Do they find new jobs on the coast or do they need to drive over the hill?

Someone suggested a Chavez Market previously. That struck me as a good idea.

I’m glad Peter Farrell has brought up the hispanic community.

Also the displaced employees. How many of them live here and would be joining the jam going over the hill?

I vote for Trader Joe’s, that would be great!!
But, I’ll daydream with GraceAnn for a gym!

Everytime they do a zip code survey at TJs, I beg them to put one in HMB. We eat mostly organic foods, so I’ve never really shopped at Safeway (the organic foods they do carry are way overpriced). I do my shopping once a week at the San Mateo TJs. I’ve been thinking of getting a petition together to get a TJS in HMB since we moved here. However, I was told by two TJs employees that they were looking into putting one in HMB, but that the folks who own Cunha’s were keeping them out. Don’t know how true this is, but I can see the considerable political pull that Cunha’s has here.

What’s wrong with a little healthy competition?

Shall we start a petition?

I’ve been trying to start a petition. I have the petition form ready to go. I’m trying to sign up petition gatherers to petition at Albertsons,  the drugs stores, leaving petitions at various stores but not have gotten the necessary support.

I bet, if we geared up, we could get 5000 signatures within three weeks,

Contact me at 650-726-9280 or <email>[email protected]</email>

John Lynch

A petition would be great but prior a coordinated effort by a group of people committed to represent the request needs to be formed.

John Lynch said:

“I bet, if we geared up, we could get 5000 signatures within three weeks,”

Even if it took a little longer I am very certain that you could do it.

It’s possible even if the opposition hired someone to run a “Decline to Sign” campaign!

Dunno if you’d be welcome to set up outside Safeway, though.

(All in good humor)

Mary Bordi

I realize the subject of Albertsons closing iis weeks old…

I have this suggestion…

Southcoasters who shop in Santa Cruz might be familiar with the New Leaf Community Markets in that area. I’ve shopped at several of them in the past (but it’s too far for me to go on a regular basis).

I’d love to see one of those instead of a Trader Joes.

Check out their philosophy:

There’s already an organized effort. I signed a petition for Trader Joe’s in front of Albertson’s this past weekend.  I don’t remember who was organizing it. I should have made a note of it.  Might as well join efforts.  Does anyone here know who is doing it?

I am the organizer.  As of today, we are at 3000 signatures. Please go to the article on “Sign the petition” here at Coastsider to find how how you can help.

John Lynch