Sunday, December 23, 2007

Safeway Leaving Polo Park

Sorry for the length of time between posts.

I have written extensively on Polo Park in this blog. One of the consistent tenants has been a grocery store. In fact, at one point there were two grocery stores faced off against one another: Loblaw's and Dominion.

Safeway moved in during the 1980s during the renovation that put a second floor on the mall. It was one of the main anchors since that time.

Well, no more. I don't know if caught Polo Park by surprise but a newspaper story revealed that Safeway was in negotiation to move in to Madison Square off of Ness adjacent to Polo Park. The Hooters restaurant that has been at Madison Square is relocating elsewhere in the Polo Park area while some other stores like Scholastic Choice are relocating within the square itself.

Madison Square was formerly a mixed used business and area near Polo Park. It is difficult to remember what was there prior to 1988 but there were a number of houses and small businesses. The only business that still exists from that time is the Sportsman, a marine retail store specializing in canoes and wakeboards. Somehow, they defied the purchase by the mall operator and continue to sit on Madison in front of Office Depot. I can still remember security trying to harass people as they went into the store if they parked on mall property.

Safeway will be a great addition to the mall that has seen its fair share of business failures including A & A Records, Bonanza and a Golf store.

Safeway reports that they will be designing the store along the lines of what we have seen in Osborne Village.

As for Polo Park, the mall says that there is a waiting list to get into the mall. The Safeway spot is an awkward one. It seems a re-design will be necessary to be attractive to customers who may not want to be down a long corridor and out of sight.


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