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Safeway in Long Reach to close next month

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The beleaguered Safeway grocery store in the Long Reach Village Center will close Saturday, Nov. 5, according to a company spokesman.

"The store has not performed to the degree that we hoped it would," Safeway spokesman Craig Muckle said. "We make these determinations as the terms of our lease reach an end."

Muckle did not know when the store's lease was due to expire.

Another grocery store, though, could soon be taking its place in the 8700 block of Cloudleap Court.

Long Reach village board member Nina Basu said the shopping center's owner, America's Realty, noted in a letter to the village administrator that another grocery store would replace the Safeway. Though the letter didn't name the company, Basu said the new tenant was described as "a high-end store" that will have a café with wireless Internet inside.

A man who answered the phone at America's Realty said no one was available to comment.

Rumors about the Safeway's impending closure surfaced in April after its pharmacy closed. At the time, Muckle said the store would remain open.

That the Safeway will close did not come as a surprise to Rita Seidelman, the village community association's assistant administrator.

"Their shelves haven't been very well-stocked in a long time," Seidelman said. "The store seems very empty."

Marie Germain, who left the Safeway on Thursday, Oct. 13 carrying a few plastic grocery bags and a baby to her car, said she depended on the grocery store.

"In snowstorms we could walk here," said Germain, a 40-year-old from Long Reach. "It'd always be open. Now there's no grocery store to walk to."

And Carol Zika said the closing could change the way she shops. She lives in Randallstown, but teaches at the Columbia Art Center located within the village center, and the grocery store near where she lives also has closed.

"It is convenient for me to stop in here and pick things up," she said.

A potential new grocery store notwithstanding, there are several grocery shopping options within miles of the Long Reach Village Center, including a Giant off Centre Park Drive, a Target in the Columbia Crossing shopping center, a Trader Joe's and a Costco in the Gateway Overlook shopping center, a Walmart in Dobbin Center, and a BJ's Wholesale Club in the Snowden Square shopping center.

A Wegman's is scheduled to open off McGaw Road in summer 2012.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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