Corporate officials confirmed rumors that they are pulling the plug on Santa Barbara’s Vons store at the corner of Chapala and Victoria streets as of August 8. None of the current Vons employees will lose their jobs, said a spokesperson for Safeway, Vons’ parent company. Instead, theyll be absorbed by other Vons stores in the area.
Vons has been itching to abandon the Victoria and Chapala site for some time, claiming it’s been performing under par. Last year, the property was sold to Bay developer Margaret Cafarelli, who also lives part-time in Santa Barbara and who pledged, “That site won’t remain dark.” Cafarelli said she intends to replace Vons with some kind of food or grocery store. In the long-term, Carafelli hopes to redevelop the site, building a three-story mixed-use project with 38 units of housing, a market where organic and locally produced foods can be sold, and underground parking. Those plans, however, remain in the conceptual state and no formal application has been submitted.