WALNUT CREEK -- The proposal for a new Whole Foods Market, Walgreens and renovated shopping center at the southwest corner of Ygnacio Valley and Oak Grove Roads will be in front of city planners Thursday for final approval.

The renovation of the Encina Grande Shopping Center has been planned for some time. It would bring a Whole Foods grocery store to the east side of town, and move and expand the current Walgreens, complete with a drive-up pharmacy window. The Walgreens could move to the east end of the center, with Whole Foods taking the place of the soon to shutter Safeway -- which was recently approved by the City Council to be rebuilt across the street.

Paint shows its age on the sign at the Encina Grande shopping center in Walnut Creek, Calif. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff)
Paint shows its age on the sign at the Encina Grande shopping center in Walnut Creek, Calif. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff)

The owner of the center, Regency Centers, is requesting a conditional use permit for the pharmacy drive-up service window and the removal of 24 trees associated with the planned renovation of the existing 102,333 square-foot shopping center, according to a staff report. The project also includes demolition of the existing Safeway building to make way for the 37,500 square-foot Whole Foods. Overall the project will only add around 4,000 more square-feet of retail space on the nearly-10-acre corner.

The center already has 540 parking stalls -- 425 is required for the project -- and Regency wants to add an additional 19 stalls in between the Whole Foods and what is now Walgreens, according to the report. The entire center would be renovated with new facades, trees and building elevations, and likely will look much different than it does today -- and has since it was built in 1966.


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The Planning Commission will decide on the project at its meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, City Hall, 1666 N. Main St. For more information go to www.walnut-creek.org.

Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617 or enardi@bayareanewsgroup.com