Neighbors laud Trader Joe's opening in San Francisco's Nob Hill

San Francisco Examiner  - Wednesday, June 29, 2011 

By: Dan Schreiber | Examiner Staff 

Cala’s final days: Cala Foods at California and Hyde streets will close in January, and Trader Joe’s will immediately begin renovations to the store to prepare for its opening. 

A Trader Joe’s store will take the place of Cala Foods at California and Hyde streets in Nob Hill, the popular chain-store grocer announced Tuesday.

Cala Foods’ lease ends in January. At that point, renovations will begin on the 14,000-square-foot building. It’s still unclear when the new Trader Joe’s location will open.

The store was the subject of speculation last summer, when a plan to build a 107-unit condominium and retail development was discussed by the Prado Group, which later modified its plans in response to neighborhood concerns. The Prado Group eventually began courting other grocers to take over the site.

Dan Safier, president of the Prado Group, said he thinks Trader Joe’s is a good fit for the densely populated neighborhood.

“Other than the Whole Foods, there is not another grocery store in that one-mile radius,” Safier said, adding that the company will announce an additional drug store tenant for the building in the future.

Safier said the bigger ambitions at the intersection are now “indefinitely on hold.”

Safier said although there is no set timeline for the Trader Joe’s opening, the rest of this year will be spent obtaining city approval for fixes to the building, and the new grocery store could be opened in a matter of months after the permitting process.

Trader Joe’s has four existing locations in San Francisco, including Laurel Heights, Fisherman’s Wharf, South of Market and Stonestown.