Residents in the coastal areas of Cardiff and Encinitas know that a major remodel and expansion of the older Vons store on Santa Fe Drive (west of I-5) has been planned for over a year.
In the fall of 2009, Santa Fe Plaza’s property owners didn’t renew or bought out the leases of five long-term small businesses next to the Vons. Since that occurred, the stores’ signs have been removed, paper window coverings have fallen down, and graffiti pops up every now and then. Locals have started calling this Vons store the “ghetto” Vons.
Architect for the project, Charles Field, said they finally have a hearing in front of the Encinitas Planning Commission on March 18. Vons expects to shut down the store and break ground on the expansion in June, with completion scheduled about eight months later.
The center’s several different owners have also agreed to do a major face-lift at the same time. Landscaping areas will be doubled and storefronts updated. The only holdout is the Rite Aid store, which still has the original 1960s facade.
“Maybe they’ll be shamed into upgrading,” said Field.