Despite its winning bid in bankruptcy court, Roxy’s Market was ultimately denied Haggen’s former Mesa store at 2010 Cliff Drive. The bankruptcy court did not approve Roxy’s $75,000 winning bid, which in November prematurely suggested the Colorado-based mom-and-pop grocery store would open shop in Santa Barbara in the coming months.
According to Dave Pintard, Director of the location’s landlord company Investec Management Corporation, the court denied the bid, “because of the dollar amount,” instead opting for a higher bid from Vons. “I can only confirm that we were the successful bidder for the store as part of a bankruptcy auction process,” Vons, Albertsons, and Pavilions spokesperson Carlos Illingsworth told The Santa Barbara Independent. Citing a tumultuous experience with Haggen, Pintard added, “We did not want a specialty grocery, we wanted a major market.”
“We still might be coming [to Santa Barbara], just to a different location,” co-owner of Roxy’s Market Rick Lawler said in a phone interview with The Independent.
Back in mid-November, during Haggen’s three-day auction process for 127 stores in its southwest market, commercial grocery chains made offers far above Roxy’s. Albertsons bid $300,000 and $1.6 million, respectively, on Haggen’s 1500 North “H” Street location in Lompoc and 163 South Turnpike Road location in Goleta. For the 175 North Fairview Drive store, Sprout’s Farmers Markets filed the winning bid at $1 million.
Under Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, Albertsons — owner of Vons and Pavilion — was only able to bid on former-Haggen locations lacking bidders. Of the six former Haggen stores in Santa Barbara County, two will return to Vons — the Turnpike and Mesa locations — and one to Albertsons — the Lompoc location. Haggen’s vacancies at 850 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria and 3943 State Street in Santa Barbara will be filled in June by Smart & Final Extra! Stores, said Phyllis Banks, spokesperson for Smart & Final.