Mission Hills Heritage


Vons Redevelopment

Store completed in 2012

Update (2/2011)
The old store should be demolished soon and the new store will be underway!

Update (10/22/2010)
Recent Developments Concerning Mission Hills Vons Project

City staff has prepared a proposed environmental document for the Vons project. The document is know as "mitigated negative declaration" which is being proposed in lieu of a full environmental impact report. This website contains the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Vons Mission Hills project. Once on the site, type "Vons Mission Hills" and click search. Any comments must be received by the City by October 28, 2010.

Note, as mitigation the applicant is being required to place a traffic signal at the intersection of Dove Street & University Avenue.

Additionally the project is schuduled for a hearing before the Planning Commission on November 18, 2010, and before the full City Council on December 7, 2010. If the project is approved by the City Council, construction can begin in 2011.

Project Background

The Vons/Safeway group is planning to redevelop the site of the Vons store on Washington Street. The proposed Vons Redevelopment Project is located on the same site as the existing Vons store. Vons proposes a new building which will expand the current store from 20,000 to 59,000 square feet of space and include 8,375 square feet of additional retail space. The proposed building is podium-style, meaning that the ground floor will be all parking, with 192 spaces, and the retail store will be located above.

The first design, unveiled in January 2010, included a mostly stucco building with stairs and an escalator from the street corner of Dove and Washington St. that would access the front entrance of the store. Preliminary community feedback identified at least two common concerns about the project, the podium-style design, which places a parking garage at the pedestrian level, and the contemporary style of the building. Architecturally, many likened the design to a stucco box from suburbia.

Renditions from the first design

Presentations on the project were presented at the Mission Hills Town Council town hall meeting on January 14, 2010, and at the Uptown Planners meeting on February 2, 2010. We asked members of the community to provide us with input by completing a short survey. To see the results of this survey, click HERE (212 kb pdf).

Based on input from the community, the Vons development team revised the design in March 2010 to change the exterior of the building. Areas of brick and wood façade were added, with articulation and an outdoor seating area on the Washington Street side of the building. The exterior stairs and escalator were removed from the corner of Washington and Dove, but a large cylindrical glass tower or silo was proposed in its place. Below are two images of a revised rendition from March, showing the Washington Street and the corner of Washington and Dove Street.

We obtained these images in late April

Based on feedback from leaders of various community groups, the Vons development team, made further changes to the design, which were unveiled at the Uptown Planners meeting on May 4, 2010.

Revised renditions from May 4, 2010, showing a portion of the Washington Street side with the corner at Dove, the full Dove Street side, and a view from the corner of Dove and University Avenue.

In our opinion, the new design is an improvement over the design first displayed a few months ago. They made changes to the design in direct response to the inputs we received from you and voiced in our meetings with them. The current design would be classified as a contemporary urban style, but they are proposing to use some higher quality materials, including combinations of brick and wood facia. Articulation and different planes on the façades will de-emphasize the bulk of the building. While not a traditional architectural style, the revised design fits better with the surrounding community through use of more traditional materials. The glass tower on the Washington/Dove corner, first proposed several weeks ago, has been softened with the use of awnings and is more integrated into the overall design.

We are pleased with the progress they have made. There are still issues to work out with this design, such as treatment of the blank wall on the south façade, and the use of artwork to screen the parking garage on the southern half of the west façade. There were also some good comments and criticisms at the Uptown Planners meeting. We have asked the development team to consider using murals of historic scenes from the local community in the blank areas on the Dove and University Avenue façades, and the Vons development team is considering this idea.

We believe it is important to give the Vons/Safeway group credit for the process they have used as they embarked upon this project and we hope this process is the wave of the future. We hope other developers follow the Vons/Safeway lead and engage the community early on in the design phase so that designs are implemented that take into account community concerns and desires. Perhaps if other developers see that working with community groups can result in win-win designs that are practical for the developer while being sensitive to community concerns they will continue to engage the community in the design process, perhaps even before pen is put to paper, and keep the community engaged even after development is completed.

We wish to emphasize that the changes that the Vons/Safeway team have made to the project are a direct result of community input. Thank you for taking an interest in this project. We intend to stay engaged, keep you informed and we ask you to please continue to let us know what you think.


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