As many Eagle Rockers have noticed amid not a little head scratching, a major construction project is underway on the sprawling property where the Vons supermarket is located on the neighborhood’s eastern edge bordering Highland Park and Pasadena.
The construction is part of a Vons shopping center—on property acquired by Vons a few years ago—on the intersection of North Figueroa Street and La Loma Drive, a stone’s throw from East Colorado Boulevard.
Groundwork for the shopping center, replete with heavy machinery tearing up the ground, began this past week on Jan. 28, according to Carlos Illingworth, director of public affairs and government relations for Vons.
The project was initially scheduled to start in 2011, as many Eagle Rockers might remember, but was put on hold, Illingworth confirmed. The construction is being handled by Property Development Centers, a shopping center developer that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Von’s parent company Safeway, Illingworth said.
The proposed shopping center has two components. The first includes approximately 14,500 square feet of shops stretching downward from the southwestern corner of Figueroa and La Loma, along a section of the property where a wall currently marks the periphery of the Vons parking lot. (See photos.)
The second part of the Vons shopping center includes a 3,200-square-foot “multi-tenant pad building” that will be located on the southeastern corner of La Loma, directly to the right of the supermarket. The building will be designed to accommodate multiple business tenants separately from the anchor tenant, Illingworth explained.
The entire parking lot facing Vons on 7311 N. Figueroa St. will be leveled, remade and merged with the planned buildings, Illingworth said. An alley that currently leads from the parking lot to La Loma, as the photos above show, will disappear.
“Our freestanding store will be transformed into a neighborhood shopping center,” Illingworth said, adding that while he cannot disclose the project’s cost, “it's a significant investment and one that we are very happy to make.”
Vons is negotiating with potential tenants whose names the company cannot disclose at this time, Illingworth said. “Potential types of tenants include a bank, coffee shop and restaurants,” he said.
“We have strong interest from a variety of retail and service-type [businesses] that we believe will serve the community well, Dave Zylstra, chief operating officer of Property Development Centers, told Patch.
Major construction is expected to be completed in August and “we look forward to a grand opening by Thanksgiving of this year,” Zylstra said.