A Sprouts Farmers Market is being proposed by UC Berkeley as the large grocery retail outlet for University Village in Albany in place of the previously proposed Whole Foods outlet.
Whole Foods announced in September that it was pulling out of the plan and said in February that it would build a new outlet at 10th and Gilman in Berkeley instead.
Sprouts Farmers Market – whose motto is "Healthy living for less!" – is opening several new outlets in California, including the Bay Area. At the end of 2012, it operated approximately 150 stores in eight states west of the Mississippi, according the company.
"The University is happy to announce that we have selected Oppidan Development to implement the retail portion of the mixed use project," UC Berkeley's director of property development, Kevin Hufferd, told Patch via email Tuesday.
"The Oppidan project includes a proposed Sprouts Farmers Market, a full-service, grocery store that focuses on organic/natural food, fresh produce, great prices and old-fashioned customer service as their anchor tenant," Hufferd said. "We are confident that the proposed Sprouts Farmers Market will be a great fit for our University Village residents and the surrounding community."
UC's draft design plans for the new Sprouts – along with a reconfigured lay-out of its proposed senior housing project at University Village – were posted on the City of Albany's website Friday.
The first public airing and discussion of the revised UC development plan is scheduled for the May 8 meeting of the city's Planning & Zoning Commission, which will be held at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
The Sprouts supermarket and senior housing are part of the university's longstanding plan to put a mixed-use development on the large University Village property, whose main use is family housing for graduate students.
After many hearings and sometimes fractious public debate, the City Council in July approved the UC Berkeley development plan, which at that time called for Whole Foods to be the anchor retail tenant.
The new plan would place a 28,000-square-foot Sprouts building at the rear of the large retail parcel that sits on the northwest corner of Monroe Street and San Pablo Avenue. It would also place a 4,200-square-foot building for additional retail at the front of the lot on San Pablo. Virtually all the remainder of the parcel would be surface parking with 129 spaces, according to the draft plan.
The plan also includes a small "bike barn" next to a two-way bicycle path, or "cycle track," that would run next to the San Pablo Avenue frontage of the retail parcel and in front of the next-door parcel for senior housing. The bicycle path would not be on the roadway but would be separated from San Pablo by a grass strip planted with intermittent trees, according to an architectural rendering in the UC plan.
A representative of the group Albany Strollers & Rollers, Preston Jordan, said in a press release that the organization "commends UC Berkeley for fulfilling its cycling facility commitment by the best means possible.”
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