With the sudden announcement that the Safeway will be closing on March 6th, CM Thomas gives us his reaction.
Dear Ward 5 Residents,
Safeway did not inform me in advance of the community regarding its decision to close its store in Edgewood; I received a phone call about the planned closure at the same time residents were informed.
Once I found out about the planned closure, I sought input from the Edgewood Civic Association at its monthly meeting. I also sought input from the Ward 5 community leaders who attended my January 30th leadership roundtable. Right now, I am organizing an outreach effort about which I will update the Ward 5 community later this week.
Furthermore, I am angered by the decision and am committed to working with residents to fight to keep Safeway in the Edgewood community–with necessary store upgrades that we deserve. To date, my staff and I have been in contact with Vanguard Realty, the leasing agent for the shopping center, to discuss incentives to get Safeway to stay. I am also reviewing legislative remedies, such as creating additional tax abatements as well as revoking Safeway’s property tax abatements for future stores it plans to open in the city if maintains its resolve to turn its back on the Edgewood community.
Please know that I remain steadfast in my support of the Edgewood community and bringing positive change, and building on the improvements we have made thus far: renovation of the Edgewood Recreation Center, creation of the Rhode Island Avenue Green Team, expansion of the Great Streets initiative to include Rhode Island Avenue, and bringing new businesses to the corridor like Forman Mills.
In Service I Remain,
Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr.
Ward 5 Councilmember