Palisades major redevelopment plan has neighbors buzzing

John Mizroch has lived in the Palisades 26 years.

He had just left the Figs Mediterranean Cafe and was on his way back home, behind the Safeway.

Plans to redevelop the store and build condos has neighbors buzzing.

"The Safeway is an integral part of the community," Mizroch said. ""The wrong kind of development, I think, would be a disaster."

He is not opposed to the redevelopment of the store or the building of condos, but worries about congestion.

"I think a reasonable number might well enhance the development of the site and enhance the neighborhood," he said.

In a letter to residents, the president of the Palisades Citizens Association said this is one of the "single biggest developments the Palisades has seen since the construction of Sibley Hospital in the late 1950s."

He said the plan triples the size of the current supermarket and builds a five story structure with 100 condos and underground parking.

The letter also says a neighborhood task force wants Safeway to withdraw its proposal and resubmit a new one that will "protect and enhance the existing scale, function, and character of the surrounding area."

Spence Spencer is the chair of the task force.

"The biggest concern is the over all size and massiveness of the development they proposed," Spencer said.

He said his group wants to work with Safeway and the developer to come up with a win-win solution.

"You can have some condominiums and some doctor's offices and a Safeway. There are many different uses for this that can also generate revenue," Spencer said.

"There is a lot of things that can accentuate what makes the Palisades such a great place to live," he added.

A Safeway spokes person tells us company representatives have met with members of the community and at this point have not finalized plans.

"We intend to continue our discussions with the community as we refine our plans," said Craig M. Muckle, Safeway manager of public affairs and Government Relations.