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Real Estate

Grocery Outlet eyes former Vallerga’s space in north Napa

What’s going into the old Vallerga’s building at Redwood Plaza?

The question has been on the minds of many locals ever since the longtime family-owned market closed in March 2018.

Today, there is a likely candidate:

Representative from Grocery Outlet, which sells discount, overstocked and closeout products from name brand and private label suppliers in six states, have applied for a permit to begin tenant improvements at the former Vallerga’s Market at 3385 Solano Ave.

There has been no announcement of a lease, but according to the city’s permitting website, the permit application was filed on Aug. 21. It is currently under review.

Reached by phone on Monday, the independent operator of the West Imola Grocery Outlet, Patrick Gaul, said the south Napa Grocery Outlet will remain open and is not moving.

Gaul said he would like to run both stores but “It’s too early to know” who will be chosen to operate the second market.

“I’m excited about the possibility of being the owner-operator of both locations,” he said. The north Napa store would be a good location, he said.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Gaul. “Having two locations in Napa will allow us to better serve customers up and down the valley.”

On Monday, Redwood Plaza property owner and landlord Richard Hoertkorn said he’s had “lots of interest” in the space, primarily from other grocery stores. The next tenant will most likely be a supermarket, he said, However, at this point, he would not confirm Grocery Outlet will be that tenant.

“We do not have a lease agreement,” Hoertkorn.

The first Napa Grocery Outlet opened in 2016.

According to its website, Grocery Outlet markets sell “quality, name-brand consumables and fresh products,” through a network of independently owned and operated stores.

A representative from Grocery Outlet could not be immediately reached to comment on this story.

A representative from Redwood Plaza tenant Bank of Marin said the bank welcomes any new anchor business tenant “to bring more foot traffic and vibrancy to the area.”

“In general, low vacancy rates are good for economic stability of the business environment and we look forward to having them here,” said bank spokesperson Andrea S. Henderson.

Grocery Outlet, based in Emeryville, reports more than 1.5 million weekly shoppers.

According to its second quarter 2019 financial statements: Grocery Outlet net sales increased by 12.2 percent to $645.3 million from $575.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018; comparable store sales increased by 5.8 percent over a 2.7 percent increase last year.

The company opened eight new stores and closed one, ending the quarter with 330 stores in six states.

Before Vallerga’s closed in 2018, it had been the anchor tenant of Redwood Plaza since 1962. However, Vallerga’s Markets had Napa roots that went back more than 70 years.

The family market began in 1947 as Vallerga’s Drive-In Market on First Street, east of Soscol Avenue in what is now the Oxbow District.

At one point, there were four Vallerga’s markets, including one in Vallejo, as well as a chain of liquor stores.

The Vallejo store closed years ago. In 2005, Vallerga’s closed its Imola Avenue store. In 2007, the Silverado Trail Vallerga’s closed. It was replaced by a sister business, JV Wine and Spirits. It closed in 2012.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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