HERCULES -- The Redevelopment Successor Agency Oversight Board, piggybacking on earlier actions by the City Council, has postponed to next month consideration of a tentative deal to sell a prime downtown retail site to Safeway while ratifying a deal to sell another large parcel to a home developer.

The grocery giant had been poised to buy the 11.44-acre, so-called Sycamore Crossing tract for $5 million minus the $2 million to $4 million estimated cost of removing about 120,000 to 200,000 square feet of stockpiled dirt, and undergrounding utilities.

But a majority of council members criticized the deal as too generous to Safeway, and questioned the cost estimate for removing the dirt. Councilwomen Myrna de Vera and Sherry McCoy additionally deplored the absence of a formal appraisal of the property and lamented that the city had negotiated exclusively with Safeway rather than cast a wide net for the best deal.

The council on Sept. 10 voted 3-2 to instruct City Manager Steve Duran to negotiate further with Safeway and bring a better deal to the council on Oct. 8, on a motion by Bill Kelly as amended by Councilman Dan Romero. De Vera and McCoy voted no.

The following day, the oversight board unanimously and without discussion postponed the matter to the week of Oct. 14.

Later in the meeting, the oversight board approved a sale of the 17.27-acre, so-called Parcel C to Lewis Land Developers LLC for $8 million, just as the council did a day earlier.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760 or tlochner@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner