New 13th Ave Safeway — Take Two

Here it is, a new, new plan for the 13th Ave Safeway. After the public consultation over the earlier proposal, P3 Architects and Safeway went off to see if they could come up with a compromise that’d please everyone.

So… what does everyone think?

For comparison, have a look at the earlier version of the redesign.

And if you want to have your say on the new, new plan — I mean, beyond in the comment section below — there will be another round of public consultation on Tuesday, November 22 at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre (2900 13th Ave, across the street from yet-to-be redesigned Safeway) starting at 7:30pm.

After the fold, a couple more images of the plan along with P3’s design summary.

Design Summary for Proposed Replacement/Expansion of Canada Safeway Store at 2915-13th Ave

• Modifications to the building exterior have been influenced by references to prominent buildings in the Cathedral Area neighbourhood. Reddish coloured brick will be used to boarder the base of the building and accentuate the columns and pilasters, which will feature alternating recessed bnds of brickwork to “animate and reduce” the building mass, as well as limestone bases and capitals to reflect the substantial mareials employed on the nearby church and cathedral.

• The building walls will be topped with delineated cornices that include dentils at prominent locations, echoing the detail work that has been applied to several buildings in the area. Awnings will flank the main entrances and highlight the groupings of pilasters and glazed panels along the west wall. There will also be green wall features installed along the west elevation with vegetation rooted in the recessed planters.

• Wooden trellises will be placed over the main entrances, which will also be framed within archways. The projecting entrance features will be articulated to appear as two storey structures, with flanking pairs of arched recesses that will be fitted with horizontal slats to resemble the louvers in the cathedral towers. The trio of glazed panels at the centre of the storefront will be accented with arched mullions, which are suggestive of the window groupings above the main entrance and on both sides of Westminster Church.

• The loading bay along the back of the building will be screened with a solid masonry/brick wall. The garbage compactor will be enclosed within a similar masonry wall and accessed through a solid, textured gate.

• Enhanced perimeter landscaping will feature two seating areas at the northeast and northwest corners of the site. These spaces are expected to include functional art pieces (eg, bicycle racks, benches), which will be commissioned and designed in consultation with, or with the active involvement of City and the local community. In the applicant’s words “Benches, garbage receptacles and unique art bicycle racks are situated in areas delineated by paving stones to develop pedestrian nodes at entry points to the site from 13th Ave.”

• Safeway’s standard bicycle racks, capable of accommodating 20 bicycles, as well as dog hooks will be situated near the main building entrances. The applicant has been requested to also provide enhanced landscaping along the front of the store.

• The existing freestanding sign at the northwest corner of the site will be retained and rehabilitated with a replaced backlit component, new paint and repairs, where necessary.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

109 thoughts on “New 13th Ave Safeway — Take Two”

  1. Also, the parking lot will be filled with hybrids and hatchbacks instead of pickup trucks and SUVs.

  2. Hmm… on first glance, I don’t see how these changes are anything more than surface, compared to the last iteration. It still has that suburban bunker feel.

  3. You’ve got to be kidding. What, they paid somebody to dig out their pencil crayons and make it brown instead of grey?

    This design is not materially different. It doesn’t address a fraction of the concerns voiced on the first proposal.

    Safeway is playing silly buggers with us.

  4. Some cosmetic changes (brickwork, cornices, awnings, arched mullions, etc.) and a walling-off of the loading bay and compactor, always a plus when your store backs onto residential space, but no mention of the mural.

  5. as I live across the street from the new Safeway sign…I ponder why they would not extend their greenery to the Retallack side. Why they think a wall will make the residents happy when currently Safeways large blank walls are magnets for gang graffiti; re: the loading doc — back lane location continues to cause noise and privacy issues along with trouble for foot and bike traffic along Retallack. If they are moving the doc then move it to the front and use their own parking lot for their deliveries vis a vis the city lane. Finally, the removal of four mature trees along the blvd of Retallack Street; and the Boyd mural are unacceptable! These are issues the impact the value of the homes along 2100 block Retallack Street and therefore the value of all home owners in the Cathedral . I look forward to further dialog in these matters.

  6. apparently the bob boyer estate has no interest in preserving the mural. it is not considered an important work by the artist and was never intended to be permanent. all they are interested in saving is the commemorative plaque.

  7. Not quite as ugly, but ugly still. The ‘pharmacy’ typeface makes it look like it was airlifted in from Big Box Central. The building will sit there, calling out silently and mournfully for its lost London Drugs and Best Buy outlets.

  8. Looks fine to me. Lucky it’s not worse, bros. 13th ave. ain’t exactly Banff, they’re not going to tailor this ($$$) to the exact needs of the neighbourhood.

  9. Hmmm. Comparing the two pictures, I see they’ve replaced the SUVs and pickup-trucks with compact cars, the cyclist with a Mum and kid, they given the clouds a bit more nuance, added a man on a bench, planted some prairie grasses (that’s actually kind of nice), bike racks (also nice), and thew in a small flock of geese flying overhead. Aside from that, the building itself looks remarkably similar to the old redesign.

    And I still don’t like it.

    Why the hell can’t they just extend the store into the alley that never gets used anyway, take the floor space that the bagel shop and hair salon currently occupy, and improve the stock? Jesus.

    And the inclusion of those little arches are obnoxious, when we all know that they’re knocking out the original big arch to make way for this ugly big-box mess.

  10. What creativity! We’ll have a Safeway that looks like every other safeway in any North American suburb. At least the sexiest sign in Regina will remain. That’s positive.

  11. Not good enough. That being said, they replaced the vehicles in the parking lot with compacts instead of SUVs. They changed the colour. They added some more detail on the Robinson side. They added bike rack. They toned down the signage on the front the tiniest little bit.

    Still not all that different from any old suburban Safeway and not worth the loss of 4 houses.

  12. not sure why everyone is so preoccupied with the fictional vehicles in the architect’s rendering . . .

  13. JC – that’s exactly why. They are fictional vehicles and they are one of the few noticable changes made between one drawing and the next.

    Also, the comment on the trees – pretty sure the only reason there are more trees now is because the city’s zoning bylaw requires landscaping along the right of ways.

  14. I have heard that safeway is fed up with the entire debate. I’ve also heard that they will pull out completely if this design is rejected and apparently Giant Tiger is interested in the space. They’ve expressed interest.

    I am no great fan of the current design, to be sure. But I am far less interested in a Giant Tiger.

    If anyone can confirm these rumours, and also bring this up at any further meetings, that would be good. If the option is this or Giant Tiger, I’d like to know that.

  15. I would be stunned if Safeway pulled the plan because they’re offended by legitimate neighbourhood criticism of indisputably bland architecture. That would be absolutely stunningly arrogant, condescending and contemptuous. Not going to happen.

    Good for the people who want lively, interesting architecture near their homes. That’s not too much to ask for. In fact, it’s wrong NOT to ask for that.

  16. I wish the laundromat wasn’t being taken over. :( Very devastating to someone who doesn’t have a washed/dryer at my place.

    Also a shout-out to all of the delicious bagels I have eaten while doing laundry…

  17. The real question is hey, do you want a grocery store nearby to buy groceries or not? People really need to stop being so trivial. Getting food for your hungry tummy is more important than art/design issues.

  18. Doesn’t look like they changed much, but I say its something that needs to be done. The current safeway is too small and overcrowded. The lineups in that store sometimes back into the aisles and that can be infuriating when shopping. There would be a better selection of product which is a good thing as it is the only grocery store in the vicinity of downtown. While it will be bigger, it will still have the same small-town vibe it has now. The same people will work there and I will still enjoy running into friends and neighbours whilst shopping for goods.

  19. m b: It’s not a question of being trivial. It’s a question of taking a vested interest in the quality of the community in which we live. No one at any point has said they don’t want a grocery store.

    Annonymoose: I would think all of your excellent points could still be accomplished with a design that is more friendly to the neighbourhood that surrounds it.

  20. Safeway is highly unlikely to pull out. The store is already very profitable as it stands, otherwise they wouldn’t be looking at expansion. So talking about potentially losing the grocery store because we’re asking for better design is simple fearmongering.

    Giant Tiger would not be interested in the site for a couple of reasons. First, their customer demographics don’t match the makeup of the neighbourhood. Second, the tax rate is higher than the outskirts or warehouse districts, where they tend to be located. This is a silly rumour.

    In Oakland, California, Safeway spent about 5 years negotiating the design of a redeveloped store. Many other communities have asked for and gotten extended and much more demanding processes from Safeway for redeveloped locations. There’s lots of precedent. What we’re asking them to do is pretty damn lightweight.

    Why are people so scared to ask for anything in this city? Why are we so convinced that if we have the guts to want something we’ll lose what we’ve got?

    You can’t get what you don’t ask for. Just accepting the bare minimum makes no sense to me at all.

  21. I am not sure that the neon sign is retained- the sign will be “retained rehabilitated with a replaced backlit component, new paint and repairs” – what does that sound like??

    The new design is just as big, with big stretches of wall, no Boyer in sight, with a few tarted up details with architectural references, but which still look like a Mark’s Work Warehouse and every other suburban shopping strip.

    The renovated Regent Park got a new facade but kept the Marina swoop ceiling. Safeway should work with its own established image, and revamp a cool Marina Safeway. It could be a statement and a leader.

    This design is sad…..the Retallack street blank wall is really out of character, this store is just too big!

  22. Not sure what the big deal is. Like really people, it’s 2011!! It’s not the 1950’s anymore!! The new store is going to be bigger and better; which is needed as the old Safeway is crowded and ugly and dirty and needs to be upgraded. Like someone said, this isn’t Banff!! It’s Regina….13th Avenue. Get over it already!

  23. “Not sure what the big deal is. Like really people, it’s 2011!! It’s not the 1950’s anymore!! The new store is going to be bigger and better; which is needed as the old Safeway is crowded and ugly and dirty and needs to be upgraded. Like someone said, this isn’t Banff!! It’s Regina….13th Avenue. Get over it already!”

    Why would a renovated store be cleaner? I hadn’t noticed the current store being any dirtier than any other Safeway or grocery store. Could be missing something, though, I’m only in there two or three times a week.

    Most people are in favour of a facelift for the store, even modest expansion. There are also some reasonable concerns about the design of the building and how that’s going to affect the neighbourhood.

    We haven’t seen other concerns addressed, such as impact on existing businesses or a traffic study. Larger store and bigger parking lot means that there’s some expectation that there will be more traffic – seeing as the current lot is rarely, if ever, full. I’d like to see a traffic study because this will directly affect my child, who walks past the Safeway and crosses 13th Ave. every day on her way home from school.

    Bigger isn’t necessarily better, and a lot bigger isn’t a lot better for this community, in my opinion. Feel free to disagree, but let’s have a little substance instead of risible straw men like “this isn’t Banff!” (’cause no one said it was) and “it’s 2011!” (yeah, we kind of know that…).

  24. I’m coming late to the party, , but for the Giant Tiger comment – most profitable store in Canada. End of discussion.
    I think the FIRST element in any plan is to keep the bob boyer wall. if not, Safeway is going to look like ogres in the community and on the large media that would be generated.

  25. Thanks, Brett, fore the “Before” Banff Safeway! Much better than the “After”, but at least, they kept the original facade and shape!

    I was wondering what all the Banff talk was about – to me it seems that Banff has recently turned into a Whistler-looking place… and has lost much of its “Banff-ness” anyway.

    If the 13th Avenue Safeway IS the highest earning Safeway per square foot in all of Canada, why is there a such a need to make it into a suburban sprawl store?!

  26. I don’t know that Banff has lost its general style – I’m there every June for a work thing, and what I see is a community that is very conscious of its overall aesthetic. But being a tourist town and within a national park, they are very focused on the issue and I would bet heavily that there is a rigorous process for building approval – including the aesthetic. Much more so than in Regina.

  27. Gah! I can’t believe I’m going to comment.

    Part of me wants to say: just get over it people. It’s a stupid private company, and architecture isn’t a democratic process. So if the stupid owner wants to hire a stupid architect to make a stupidly booooring design (which I think it is: very cookie cutter, very East Victoria) and make the stupid neighbourhood look like every other stupid neighbourhood, it’s their stupid private right.

    Do I WISH the owner and architect would design a daring/unique/interesting grocery store? Retain/incorporate this Marina design thing that was mentioned? Make a structure that makes you feel something good about the neighbourhood? Yes, yes, yes.

    Brett: thanks for posting those Banff pics. It does make one wonder why the look of the old can’t be integrated into a new design.

  28. I just watched Blue Velvet for the 50th time and now I think David Lynch should design the Safeway. To look like a Giant Tiger outlet.

  29. Sorry everyone but the Giant Tiger possibility is very real and not merely a scare tactic. Safeway operates more than 1725 stores in North America, many of them larger and more profitable than ours, so one single location is not going to make or break the franchise. In the view of Safeway, the current location needs an expansion in order to remain functional within their current business objectives. If a proposed expansion is rejected then the prospect of Safeway simply pulling out of the location altogether is very realistic (though obviously this wouldn’t happen instantly, but probably within a few years it would.) They DO care about what’s happening on 13th Ave and do want to find a feasible solution but realistically they simply have “bigger fish to fry” than to continue dealing with this hassle. I sincerely wish this wasn’t the case but sadly it is . . .

  30. By the same token, JC, the time and expense of a redesign is fairly negligible to a corporation of Safeway’s size and reach. The fact that they’ve done a public consultation and worked up a different design is evidence that they’re willing to work with the public to some degree. In fact, they consider the area profitable enough that they think an expanded store will pay off. They’ve already invested a significant amount of money, energy and time into the process.

    If a Giant Tiger moves in, it won’t be because a few people objected to the look of the storefront. That would be the result of a much larger shift in Safeway’s corporate strategy.

  31. Everyone is so fixated on the Boyer mural; why not just paint a new one on the new building?

    I like the new building and I think it will be a great addition to a great neighbourhood I call home!

  32. “I think the FIRST element in any plan is to keep the bob boyer wall. if not, Safeway is going to look like ogres in the community and on the large media that would be generated.”

    Attempts have been made to save the mural but the Boyer estate has made it clear that it is not something they wish to pursue. There was no contract signed between Boyer and Safeway, and the mural itself was not intended to be permanent. If it was up to me, I would salvage it somehow, even though it is certainly not my favorite Boyer piece.

  33. JC: Believe you me, a three-month window between two voluntary public consultations does not indicate a “hassle” for a large corporation, and I will at least give Safeway props for this.

    What I find frustrating is that, even with cursory research, Safeway appears to have a reasonable track record with tailoring building design and development to particular cities and neighbourhoods of varying sizes and median incomes, even if they work from “templates”. But with the original proposed and updated design proposals, Safeway nor P3 has made a clear argument as to why the new 13th Avenue Safeway NEEDS to have this particular design when there seem to be other options, or NEEDS to expand to the proposed square footage amount without addressing why an expansion of a lesser amount might not work, or NEEDS to have a Starbucks, etc.

    I would certainly be willing to listen, and to take into consideration the economics of the dollar amount required for renovation and/or expansion versus how much revenue an expanded footprint needs to generate to make it financially viable (having a sense of the actual revenue the current store generates would be helpful as well), but thus far the gist of their argument seems to be, simply, that “new and bigger is good” without providing the data to back up details.

    But in going with Aidan’s earlier proposal, if Safeway built a store that resembled the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks, I’d be all for it. And what would be ultra-awesome is if they had an actual giant tiger roaming in and out of the red-curtained aisles.

  34. Pretty funny that they did this.
    “Hey I know, let’s add FAKE BRICKS!”
    That said, I think it looks fine. It bothers me that whenever the subject of this Safeway comes up, all I hear about is how it LOOKS. How about the fact that the laundromat is gone, along with the bagel shop and the hair place? Not surprising that Safeway wouldn’t want a bagel shop next door. And who knows if it would survive anyway, with the Safeway deli next door. But it still bothers me that Safeway is allowed to do this to the tenants — ESPECIALLY if they are running what would be a competing business. Who gives a shit about LOOKS.

  35. Well, I give a shit about looks, for one. Because I would have to look at it.

    Having said this, others have expressed concern about other tenants (and neighbourhood services) being evicted. If one were to list all of the complaints in a single comment, I think it would be rather unwieldy. This thread, and the earlier thread from summer, seem to form a representative aggregate of concerns. My hope is that somebody who has some power to address these is reading them as well.

  36. Brett – Thanks for these photos. I agree – why can’t they do something similar here?

    Anonymous @#39 – Bob Boyer is no longer with us is why we can’t just have another one painted.

    As for all the Giant Tiger comments – Cathedral just isn’t their thing. Safeway doesn’t get our neighbourhood aparently, but they are more in line with what fits here than Giant Tiger. This location is profitable. I doubt they would leave. They may just build this crap, but I doubt they would leave. I really do’t understand why they can’t do something similar to Banff though. Especially as they must already have these plans.

  37. Why not build a Banff-style Safeway? It may because P3 doesn’t have the expertise. This isn’t a knock against P3, but certain designs may have elements that would necessitate bringing in someone else. And I can’t see an architecture firm being cool with that.

  38. “As for all the Giant Tiger comments – Cathedral just isn’t their thing.”

    Giant Tiger expressed interest in the location. This isn’t an opinion or a guess – it is something that actually happened. I’m not sure how else to get this across.

  39. I’m perfectly willing to believe that Giant Tiger has “expressed interest”; what I find harder to believe is that Safeway would pull out over objections to the storefront design. It doesn’t make much sense that Safeway would be willing to expand the location, with all the time, money and effort that an expansion entails, but would simply say “oh this is too much trouble” at this point. I’m sure they’d prefer that the process be completely unhindered, but as far as I know, they don’t have to listen to residents if they don’t want to. If they’re truly fed up, they’ll say “This is what you get, and in six months you won’t even notice the difference,” not “We’re taking our ball and going home.”

  40. Anonymous #35, “Part of me wants to say: just get over it people. It’s a stupid private company, and architecture isn’t a democratic process. So if the stupid owner wants to hire a stupid architect to make a stupidly booooring design… and make the stupid neighbourhood look like every other stupid neighbourhood, it’s their stupid private right.”

    Based on my understanding of how development applications are processed and assessed, these assertions are incorrect on many accounts.

    Just because it is “private property” does not give the owner unlimited rights to build anything they wish on the property.

    Safeway’s “rights” are defined in the Regina Development Plan, the Zoning Bylaw and “Part J: Cathedral” in the development plan. See:

    In these enforcable bylaws are the rules for development on this site. They include building size, location on the lot, how it must interact with the street and adjacent buildings, parking, etc.
    Of particular note is “Part J: Cathedral”. This is the neighbourhood plan. Safeway doesn’t have the right to make this neighbourhood look like every other “stupid neighbourhood” – Part J is there to specifically protect this special, urban neighbourhood.

    Some details: The maximum size of a retail unit in the proposed zone (LC3) is 150 m2, the proposed building is 20x this size. IIRC, parking is not allowed in front of a store in Cathedral and there is an explict exception in the Cathedral plan for the existing lot. A “grocery store” is “discretionary” in LC3 – it is up to Council’s discretion whether this development is appropriate for *this site* in *Cathedral*.
    All of these things together (plus many other aspects, such as removal of memorable architecture and housing) need to be assessed to establish the community value of this development. As this is a “discretionary use”, Safeway needs to show that this development is a net benefit to the neighbourhood and that it meets the intention of the Regina Development Plan, Zoning Bylaw & Cathedral neighbourhood plan.

    What we are seeing are residents lobbying for Safeway to propose a design that respects the neighbourhood, and for the City to enforce Council & community approved bylaws.

    The development plan allows a proponent (Safeway) to propose amenities and local improvements that outweigh the negative impacts on the neighbourhood of the development; this is how they receive approval for developments that do not meet the letter of the bylaws, but are in line with the intent of the bylaws.

  41. So, if the “maximum size of a retail unit in the proposed zone (LC3) is 150 m2” and “the proposed building is 20x this size,” then shouldn’t this fact alone nullify the entire proposal? Am I missing something? Or can zoning bylaws just be enforced or ignored at random?

  42. Such a great discussion….loved the tiger comment! Organize and synergize to get what we want! What do we want? Realizing that Boyd’s mural is not a major work does that mean we no longer advocate for it. Perhaps we advocate and it is kept and it becomes a major work? Can that happen? How about the four mature trees along Retallack; and the back lane issue? I for one am for taking out the back lane…as it is a continual plateform of foul play. How do I know? Here is another thought: “Customer service and fresh/expanded produce should not be contingent on the size of the bldg. Look at Lakeshore Sobeys”.

    Educating Safeways executive is a responsibility of the community. I hope all that weighed in here will make it Nov. 22nd at 7:30 pm. Cathedral Community Center. Personally, I believe they are watching and listening. How serious are we? Can we check our tempers and take a stand for our neighborhood. What do I mean my that? Who we are is the center for the Arts in Regina; we frequent the small business out of choice; we eat organic; we recycle; we walk and ride our bikes. We believe in community! We celebrate our history; expecting that our future will take the best of that. Who are we cathedral? Do we have the self control and courage to take a stand? Ya know what…I think we do!

  43. JC, just out of curiosity, where are you getting confirmation that Giant Tiger has actually expressed interest in the location?

  44. The “marina” style was a Safeway brand, not the result of some architectural genius. Doesn’t it occur to my fellow residents that Safeway has a “brand” that they require their architects and engineers to follow. I would love to have seen what a blog in the 60’s would have said about the marina style and the half dozen houses torn down to make room for it! Have you folks actually looked at this neighborhood? The buildings are atrocious, not that this is a gem, and I doubt the architects will try to win awards with it, but they are spending someone else’s money and are directed by a client (repeat, it is SAFEWAY’s MONEY), and must therefore do their best with the what they have. BTW, where did someone find out that this is the most profitable store in Canada? If I owned something that made that kind of money I would leave it as is, so, logic therefore would indicate……..your information is crap…I say do what it takes to keep a grocery store in the area and don’t let these few allow this amenity to disappear.

  45. “Doesn’t it occur to my fellow residents that Safeway has a “brand” that they require their architects and engineers to follow.”

    – And again, as repeatedly pointed out previously, there are several options within the Safeway “templates,” some of which appear more suitable for the neighbourhood.

    “…it is SAFEWAY’s MONEY…”

    – Please refer to comment #48 for details as to other important factors.

    “I say do what it takes to keep a grocery store in the area and don’t let these few allow this amenity to disappear.”

    – Nobody has said they want Safeway to go away. Safeway has not made any indication that they are leaving.

  46. Where oh where does “SAFEWAY’S MONEY” come from? Why, out of my pocket and yours. A good business rule of thumb is to make sure your customers feel valued. You make sure you listen to their concerns and you do your best to make them comfortable and welcome.

    Consider the process of redevelopment as another form of customer service.

  47. I really think an effort is being given here. i.e. Safeway listening. Mtg on the 22nd at 7:00 at our community center. Peace to us all until then.

  48. I feel that the brain trust at P3 has difficulties envisioning a design that would be be reflective of the area. Either there is no imagination going on, or it’s the same old, same old.

  49. Wow, shows what’s really important to the commenters here. Not an apartment getting closed down and people (who comment here) getting kicked out with limited options, not occupy Regina/Wall St., not anything else really that’s been posted on this site. But a Safeway in their precious Cathedral area that doesn’t look exactly as hip as they like, shit hits the fan! Organize and fight the man!

  50. Oh, I see. Bronymous is here to tell us what we can and can’t talk about. Thanks, Bronymous. I’m going to go and do whatever it is you’re doing to fix the world.

  51. Bro, each person has his or her own set of concerns in life. On the surface, I’d guess that sanctimony is one of yours.

  52. No Barb! We love you. No good Dog Blog comment thread is complete without your point of view. And that’s the thing – you have a point of view. I don’t think Bronymous is offering perspective – he or she is telling us that we’re wrong to be talking on this thread. That’s just low-grade forum bullying designed to shame people for having opinions.

  53. And further to #62, as long as offered perspective is on point, whether pro or con to the subject at hand, I’m all for it.

  54. “JC, just out of curiosity, where are you getting confirmation that Giant Tiger has actually expressed interest in the location?”

    from the architect working on the project, who deals directly with safeway.

  55. I also think that Bronymous is confusing the quantity of comments with the significance of the issue. There may be fewer comments on the many posts on Occupy Regina that Charles has been writing, but then, there’s less ground for debate – most of prairie dog’s readers, I think, share the values of the Occupy movement and can agree in broad principle on the issue. With something like this, though, there’s lots of room for argument and factual clarification. No one here is going to say that the design of a neighborhood Safeway is more important than the Occupy movement or the sale of the Crescent Apartments.

  56. Further to Aidan’s comments, what I find interesting is that several of the commentators who approve of Safeway going ahead with the current proposal “as-is” do so while agreeing with others that the building itself is less than ideal (to varying degrees and for varying reasons). The debate in these cases has less to do with the building itself, but how the community should react.

    So, yeah, “I don’t see what the big deal is” or “It’s more important to have an ugly grocery store than possibly no grocery store at all” are certainly valid viewpoints, but I wouldn’t chide others for participating in the discussion, whether I agree or disagree with their points.

  57. I don’t interpret Bronymous’s remarks as advocating censorship; he’s talking about perspective. That’s as valid a viewpoint as anyothers offered here. And as to not “chiding”, please. Refer back to the last major post on this topic and eat your words, preferably with a healthy dollop of wasabi sauce.

  58. Barb, you willfully chose not to participate in the discussion of the topic at hand. I apologize if you were offended by my calling attention to it.

  59. “JC – Did the architect talk to you about the rationale behind the design? It would be interesting to get his perspective.”

    I’m not sure how much I’m at liberty to discuss on a this forum, but we have had a few illuminating discussions about this issue, the gist of which being that there’s often quite a large gap between what the public wants and what is feasible from a architectural/construction perspective. I’ve been an outspoken advocate for the preservation of mid-century architecture for years now, but I was interested in understanding the other side of the issue, ie – the challenges involved with actually dealing with structures of old buildings, and the different considerations that need to be made between retail and non-retail spaces.

    Predictably, it is money that is the main driving factor behind a lot of it, though not always. For example, people often ask “why can’t we have a beautiful Safeway like the one they have in Vancouver/San Francisco/etc?” and the answer is usually something like “the budget behind those renovation projects was twenty times greater than what is available for Regina” or “the climates of west coast cities are vastly different than ours and that affects how the storefronts need to be designed.” Basically, cities that are richer and warmer than ours get things that we simply can’t have.

    It can also be a challenge navigating the restrictions imposed by Safeway. For example, the brick color in the new design falls outside the range of Safeway’s palette of store colors (which is part of their standardized branding), and so even the addition of that small detail was a compromise. I think the design firm is listening to the comments of the public and taking them seriously, but accommodating them within the confines of the budget is what’s proving to be difficult. Again, there are limits as to what I can get into on a public forum so I would direct any other questions to the designers themselves at the meeting this coming Tuesday.

  60. Just stirring the pot a bit, bros, as an “alternative newspaper” thought you’d appreciate that. But I guess an alternative viewpoint to the norm of the majority of commenters here is not desired. It is also fairly petty to have actual PD writers respond in such aggressive tones, very welcoming, bro.
    There’s a reason other newspapers don’t have their writers respond, especially at the rate on this site, it’s not very professional.

    I think you’re all entitled to your own views and perspectives, mine is you seem fairly childish complaining to this extent about the exterior of a bloody Safeway. A Giant Tiger in the cathedral would be awesome on so many levels.

  61. “A Giant Tiger in the cathedral would be awesome on so many levels.”

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you very strongly on that. Have you actually BEEN to a Giant Tiger?

  62. Sarcasm. Giant Tigers are ugly buildings that sell a lot of crap for cheap. That’s why it’d be funny if there was so much complaining about the design of a Safeway store that they’d get fed up and say screw it, and Giant Tiger moves in.

  63. Aidan, bro, never said that we can’t comment on this, but at 70+ it’s a little ridiculous when most other posts get 0-10. And PD writers, if you feel the need to comment, I guess it’s only slightly odd that writers would comments on their own website’s posts, but personal insults at pretty much anyone with opposing viewpoints? Really? (see other threads with similar output – Wolf, Manfred – for examples of writers not acting professional at the slightest hint of a contradictory statement)

  64. Bronymous, take a look at my earlier comment (#66) as to why I think that long threads on posts like this don’t reflect badly on the people who are commenting. Also, if you have a kid in the near future, could you name it Bronymous? I’m starting to like that name.

  65. And believe me, you’re not the only person who wishes that other posts got more comments. It would be great if posts on bigger issues sparked more conversation. But if the internet’s taught me anything, it’s that people like bacon, boobs and kittens. Everything else is secondary.

  66. I don’t think long posts necessarily reflect bad on those posting, it was more of a tongue-in-cheek comment about the amount of people up in arms about the exterior of a Safeway. I also comment here time to time specifically to stir the pot, not that I disagree wholeheartedly with the issue at hand, but to offer another viewpoint.

    I also take back, to a degree, the “writer’s shouldn’t comment” comment, PD is different than the LP or ESPN, more dialogue the better, but sometimes the writer’s comments are surprisingly harsh/over-protective. Bros have feeling too, bro.

  67. Bro: When somebody posts a comment in a thread that’s critical about the number of posts in the same thread, I find it odd when someone then chooses to further add to the overall number. But maybe that’s just me.

    I don’t see anything “aggressive” or “unprofessional” in how anyone responded to what I think was intended as a mocking and patronizing tone. Your “alternative viewpoint” that you are so keen to express seems to be more about the number and nature of comments themselves rather than your actual reaction to Safeway’s proposal.

    The criticism here is beyond the facade of a store. This is to do with corporate impact on community, urban planning, impact on local business etc. There are many issues at play, and I’m sorry if you see those as “childish” (again, critical of the commentators rather than relevant to the topic), I see it as talking a vested interest on an aspect of my community that has a potential impact to its livability.

    In short: I would certainly love to read any further thoughts you may have about the advantages of letting the proposal go ahead as is, but reading your inaccurate summary of the arguments presented and slamming those views as “childish” doesn’t do you any favours.

    I think that a renoed and expanded Safeway should stick closer to the original structure and not have as big a footprint as what is proposed. Please feel free to debate me on this. Cheers B

  68. “And believe me, you’re not the only person who wishes that other posts got more comments. It would be great if posts on bigger issues sparked more conversation.”

    I bet if threads had more varied opinions & viewpoints this would cause more comments. It shouldn’t revert to posts on OWS calling all the protesters dirty hippies/hipsters, but seems like PD’s readers do agree on a lot of issues, thus less discussion/argument. So that’s why it’s interesting when someone comes along and raises an opposing viewpoint, or even a sarcastic comment, they’re met with such resistance at times. Everybody should feel welcome to comment, even if they’re not the norm of said site. Bro, I’ll be the first to admit some of my comments have been antagonistic, and have been met in kind, but I’d rather see more of that than 4 comments with everyone agreeing with each other.

    That said, this site would get a lot more hits if more boobs were present. PD babe of the day, perhaps?

  69. Sometimes it’s tough to read someone’s tone right in a comment – I forget that everything gets amped up on the internet, and comments can sound harsher than intended. Stupid internet.

  70. Bro: As a followup to your comment #9, it would seem that JC’s recent comments about more money slated for larger centres’ renos would back that up.

  71. Dear, dear Brett #70: ah, but I did participate in discussion of the topic at hand, and am still doing so. The issue is that I and others may say things you’d prefer not to read.

  72. JC: Thanks for your information in comment #71. As I mentioned in my comment of several hundred comments ago, if Safeway itself would directly provide this same information, and clearly explained the economics that have an impact on what they can or cannot do, at the very least I would understand its point of view.

  73. Barb: I am greatly relieved that you weren’t offended and look forward to reading your further remarks regarding Safeway.

  74. Hard to comment without adding to the overall number. Edit function on these comments would be great, because at times comments are written in 30 seconds without the greatest care. Childish isn’t the correct word. A bit self-indulgent perhaps. Can you explain how the current design of the building makes the area less livable? I believe the area needs an expanded model to provide more services to its customers and make more $ for Safeway, exterior sexiness notwithstanding. My experience (only shop there occasionally) is the place is outdated, dingy, with limited options compared to other supermarkets. Also, great comments by JC, can’t imagine it’s cheap to design large supermarkets to the preferred specs of various areas. Cash rules everything around us.

  75. Thanks, Bro. I think one of my earlier comments – buried somewhere back in the thicket – addresses that there are some who want status quo, but there are other others amenable to a fix-up and expansion; the debate within this is just how big should it be and what goods and services should it provide, not just what it should look like. But certainly a full-service grocery store is preferable to a discount store, no classism intended (if memory serves, the produce section typically consists of not much more than Dole iceberg lettuce and bags of mini-carrots).

    I feel like I’m blathering way too much on this thread, so unless I wake up with an apocalyptic vision of flaming giant tigers and feel the need to share, I’ll gracefully resign.

  76. “Can you explain how the current design of the building makes the area less livable?”

    Sorry Bro, I missed addressing your pointed question.

    I would say, for the people who occupy the four houses that will be torn down, the area will definitely be less livable.

  77. Bronymous says: “There’s a reason other newspapers don’t have their writers respond, especially at the rate on this site, it’s not very professional.”

    I love Bro’s contributions to this site but that “it’s not very professional” comment is just silly. There’s nothing unprofessional about having a direct conversation with readers. Larger news sites avoid it because it’s a hassle and a little risky, not because it’s “unprofessional.”

  78. I agree the current Safeway needs to be expanded. It’s seriously lagging behind the rest of the city in what it can offer. The issue at hand, I think, is how the new store interacts with the neighborhood. A piece of architecture really isn’t neutral; it makes a difference to the lives of people who live and shop there. If people live in/move to the Cathedral aread because they’re looking for a specific kind of place with a specific quality of life, then a big-ass ugly Safeway could drive down property values and make the Cathedral area a less desirable place to live. That’s the first thing that springs to mind.

    I also think that residents are upset because the first design showed that Safeway wasn’t paying attention to the neighborhood. They proposed a building that felt more appropriate for a big box retail park (although I’m sure that zoning bylaws stipulate a number of differences in the design). People wanted something better, so they went back to the drawing board (or the AutoCAD) and tried again.

    It’s going to be a compromise; the people who want a shinier version of the Marina Safeway probably aren’t going to get it, but we’ll get something with a little more variety and range than the current space.

  79. Given the very small change between designs 1 and 2, the Nov. 22 community consultation meeting should be very interesting.

  80. hi.
    Holy shit Bat-Mite!
    1st PD blog where I had to use the scroll to top button!

    My turn to stir it up.

    Google/ map/ Banff, take a virtual tour.
    There is a theme, the demovelopers, run that town too. I lived there/did the hotel job thing.

    I’m no Mike Holmes, but salvaging some of the s’way front isn’t impossible . The Bill Boyer mural, could be easily saved INTACT. Move the horses to somewhere in front of the Centre of the Arts,( they need more arts displayed there ).

    #48,49 Good points.

    #54 Exactly.

    #31 Thanks for the pics!

    It’s the same building just painted differently.It looks like a proposed motel on Albert@exsuperstore landing.

    Soon to be renamed : ” Green is the Colour of Money Acres “. (C)19/11/2011.

    Giant Tiger is a Canadian company.

    b bye4n

  81. This is how Canada Safeway Inc. responds to the concerns of the people in Cathedral? Good grief, send them packing! This is complete and total B S!

    More of my food dollars are now going to go to Eat Health Foods.

  82. Interesting observations and blog! 90+ blogs! It must be a project in the Cathedral Area! It has been good to see some balance brought to the discussion. I have done some googling, and based on what the stores in Strathcona Edmonton and Kensington Calgary, Brandon and Winterpig look like, Safeway has improved the look, and the first two are pretty cool communities too. I also looked at P3’s website, and anonymous 56 is off base, some pretty cool stuff there. I don’t know how things work in design world, but when I get hired I do what I am told. I like the commentary that is informed, but Don #12 and some others need to spend some time researching.

  83. Why an expansion? Currently staffing issues; the lack of fresh produce; the general maintenance of the grounds and the building are issues that can be addressed without an increase in the building size. Lakeshore Sobeys comes to mind. It irritated me that an independent grocery store was overpowered by the big boys. However I do admit that their deli baking and fresh produce is a delight.

    Branding without expanding…13th Ave is not set up for a large grocery store. We have a vision for independent and quaint. In fact the bylaws written support this! I do not understand why expansion means better.

  84. The funny thing is, when the current Safeway was built all those years ago people decried it’s architecture.

    Aiden, I don’t think anyone is telling you you can’t have an opinion or an ideal, I think they are just telling you it is ridiculous.

    How are people going to react when in-fills start to litter Cathedral? Cathedral has many shall we say sub-par homes and in the next 20-30 years a fair number are going to have to go.

    “More of my food dollars are now going to go to Eat Health Foods”

    Why weren’t they before??

  85. Am I responsible for magic post #100? What do I win? A dream date with Stephen Whitworth? I’m giddy with anticipation!

    Nathan C: I’m not sure where you’re seeing anything ridiculous, i.e. deserving of derision based on the definition of the word, in any of the comments presented here (certainly there are some comments that are more serious than others, but I think it’s pretty evident from the tone which ones are which).

    As to a couple of specific points you’ve raised: I’m not sure if you’re already aware, but there are already several infills throughout Cathedral. The primary difference between this and Safeway’s proposal is that the scale of an infill house’s footprint is more or less exactly the same as the structure it replaces.

    Historically, the bigger concern expressed with the initial Safeway proposal in ’61 was the businesses on the south side of 13th Avenue that would be displaced or torn down. That is what influenced the original design to incorporate its “wings” to house other businesses.

    And funnily enough, the original San Francisco Marina Safeway design partially came about as a redress to community concerns:

    “…Safeway was forced to wage a ‘protracted zoning fight’ in order to win approval to build this store, according to the July, 1960 issue of Chain Store Age magazine. After gaining approval, some area residents still objected, so Safeway set out to build ‘a showplace that would pacify its opponents and satisfy the neighborhood’s esthetic as well as practical needs’.”

    The more you know, etc.

  86. People need to see the legacy of Regina’s architectural history live on the streets and not in a coffee table photo book about the way Regina was. With this in mind, the 13th. Avenue Safeway should take a deep hearted look at “who it really is” to the community. It is more than a grocery store. The old building facade and neon sign connects people to the way things were. Other businesses pay millions just to manufacture such a cultural connection to its community. The 13th Ave. Safeway already has this going on. Why destroy a good thing? It’s time to go back to the drawing board and better blend the old with the new.

  87. So we’re upset that a big corporation is about to build a store just like all their other stores. Seems to me that’s what they did when this store was built back when. Was the original store designed to “fit in” the neighbourhood? Of course not. But we love it now. Come on people, it’s a store – a better one than we have now. I think that there are many more important issues we could be focussing our energy on.

  88. I don’t share everyone’s outrage at losing the ‘Marina style’ building – which has no relevance to Regina or Saskatchewan. I have no more nostalgia for it than the McDonald’s arches – another mass produced corporate logo. I am thankful there will be some investment in the inner-city as opposed to the outer suburbs. Perhaps you’d prefer that Safeway move out and we have a Dollar store to do our grocery shopping in? Having a new and bigger store will keep business in our area – as opposed to driving out to WalMart or big box land and possibly bring more traffic to help the small businesses along 13Ave survive. I welcome any effort at improving the look of 13 Ave which is currently a reminder of every failed attempt at creating some kind of plan.

  89. 13 Ave which is currently a reminder of every failed attempt at creating some kind of plan.

    I think this is why people in Cathedral are fighting so hard to keep the historical and cultural history of Safeway’s building. Cathedral does have a plan; why oh why would we divert from it.

    This is an opportunity for Safeway to honor a plan put forward by the people who shop in their store. When the Province and the City put together “the plan”; did they forsee that Safeway’s branding would turn the plan on it’s head?

    How do we bring us all onto the same page? Oh yeh, a plan! So lets not fail it this time. City planners, lets not fail it… o.k.?

  90. # 105 yo are right. Why is 13th ave., a corridor for Regina traffic?

    A 2011 reason is because those, “in charge “, figgred that Sask Dr, and 11th could handle all traffic without 12th.

    Up coming Vic & Albert lane closers!
    Bring it on, so we can getter done.

  91. People, people! First World problems. Be grateful we have a grocery store (no matter what it looks like). There are many people who aren’t as lucky as that. Be cool.
    I do sympathize with the poster above who will lose the Laundromat.

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