Grocery Store Location on Spring Street for Lease

By: 
Kirt Ramirez

The former Haggen grocery store location at 6235 E. Spring St. is up for lease.

Pacific Northwest, Bellingham-based Haggen purchased 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores in December 2014 and expanded its chain to the Pacific Southwest in 2015 – including launching a store in Long Beach.

Haggen didn’t thrive and the new stores were closed within months of opening.

Haggen sued Albertsons in September 2015 for $1 billion in damages and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Albertsons subsequently acquired 29 Haggen core stores in Washington and Oregon as part of the bankruptcy, according to an Albertsons March 2016 press release.

Today 15 stores with the Haggen banner exist only in the state of Washington.

Meanwhile, the property at Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue remains vacant and is now available for lease.

“We’re in the process of trying to lease it,” said Mark Kaplan, president and CEO of KFT Management, Inc. “We’re working on it.”

Kaplan said by phone that no company has been named or selected yet as of Aug. 29 and that it’s premature for KFT to comment on who might lease the property.

He added he would let the Beachcomber know when a tenant is chosen.

Prior to Haggen, Albertsons served the community at the Spring Street location for several years and before that, it was a Lucky supermarket. A Raley’s opened in the 1950s.

According to loopnet.com, the building features 52,327 square feet of retail space and requires a 10-year lease.

Real estate services are provided by Leasing Agent Vic Montalbo of Epsteen & Associates.

Montalbo also said by phone Aug. 24 that the property is for lease and that he, unfortunately, could not disclose any more information.

“I’m actively leasing it,” he said.

The Long Beach Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit Aug. 22 for the grocery store location to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits for off-site consumption.

Meanwhile, the location is way too small for a standard Costco and too small for a typical Kroger’s Food 4 Less.

It’s much too big for an average Trader Joes – and there’s already one close by. And with Kroger’s Ralphs around the corner, a Stater Bros. across the street, Pavilions up the road and a Grocery Outlet catty corner from the empty building, these stores are unlikely candidates.

The Beachcomber reached out to several grocery store companies regarding whether a store would come to the Spring Street location. Only ALDI responded.

Without saying yes or no, an ALDI spokeswoman said through email Aug. 26:

“We are charting an aggressive course to reach 2,500 stores by 2022, including exploring opportunities in California as well as multiple other markets from coast to coast. We don’t have specific information to share about a possible location in Long Beach at this time, but we look forward to sharing news as plans develop.”

ALDI’s square footage does not match the Spring Street location.

ALDI reports on its website that it seeks around 17,000 square feet for its location criteria.

The Spring Street building is more than 52,000 square feet.

Long Beach’s first ALDI opened with fanfare on Dec. 15, 2016 at 4580 Atlantic Ave. in Bixby Knolls.

Meanwhile, the iconic dome structures on Los Coyotes Diagonal and Spring Street were torn down in recent weeks.

The domes will be replaced with a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf store, confirmed Long Beach Development Services spokesman Richard de la Torre.

A Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf permanently closed this summer at 6471 East Pacific Coast Highway in Marketplace Long Beach.

kirt@beachcomber.news

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