May 5, 2004

Portland Safeway

Category: Urban Planning

Portland: Proof that big box retail can still be both urban and green, a new safeway in Portland is part of a mixed use development featuring apartments above the store, undergound parking, and LEED certification. It's got bike racks, and windows all around the store as well.

Posted by Nick at May 5, 2004 8:37 PM


The indie video store I worked at a few years ago used to be located on that very same corner. *sniff* They tore the whole block down to put in Safeway.

Posted by: Emily at May 8, 2004 7:16 AM

It's a wonder that even on this day and age a Safeway outlet could be called green for doing as little as locating in a mixed use development building and installing a bike rack. What further baffles me is that the Safeway being lauded as green is in the same town as South East Portlandís People's Food Co-op. The co-operative grocery doesn't carry products which contain genetically modified organisms, or come with excess a packaging materials. The building has a ground source heat pump, which means that instead of using gas, oil, or air conditioners to regulate the temperature the building is heated and cooled using the ground or earth's energy. The building has an eco-roof, which reduces run off, soil erosion, and absorbs pollutants. The most environmentally friendly building materials available such as cob and recycled metals were used in the construction. There is a large community free box cabinet. As well as having bike racks they offer bicycle delivery.

Posted by: Thadeaus at May 12, 2004 12:48 AM

Well, you're absolutely right. Still, it's a massive step for a mainstream chain to take, and though it's nowhere near as good as we'd like it to be, I thought they still deserved commendation.

Posted by: Nick at May 12, 2004 1:47 AM

I agree with Nick, I think both stores have their place. People's serves a very niche market, that I doubt they would lose at all to Safeway Downtown, but the fact that Safeway has made these improvements shows that People's is just raising the bar for other community goods. I've been in this safeway and they have a ton more organic and preservative free/healthier type food--and it provides that kind of market in SW (I think the closest is Whole Foods in NW), allowing Portland State University students and people in low-income housing in SW to have easy access to these products. I'd be more concerned about the New Seasons market that is being opened 3 blocks from People's, also being built with green materials and sure to capture at least part of People's clientele.

Posted by: Esther at June 6, 2004 11:05 AM