Safeway seeks permit to add Starbucks

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The Steamboat Springs Safe--way store has applied for a city permit to allow it to add 600 square feet and a Starbucks coffee shop.

However, there's more to the project than a frothy latte.

Safeway completed a $5 million remodel less than four years ago. The latest request comes at the same time Safeway is remodeling 144 stores in the five-state Denver division in an effort to reposition them in a "lifestyle" format and establish a fresh brand.

The concept focuses on a larger selection of natural and organic foods, more options for prepared meals and full-service meat counters. There are plans for European cheese counters, olive bars and sushi bars in the remodeled stores. Safeway is attempting to give the stores a warmer feel with subdued lighting and wood flooring in some departments, according to Safeway's corporate Web page.

City planner Jonathan Spence said proposed exterior modifications to the Steamboat Safeway are straightforward, and the permit application will be handled administratively without the need for public hearings.

Safeway proposes to add the 600 additional square feet underneath an existing overhang at the front of the store.

Spence said the addition would be built in an area at the front of the store that is occupied by a pair of false windows screening the store's accounting operation. The remodel will involve adding a third, functional window that will add light to the store.

Safeway's original plans for the 2000-01 remodel called for the addition of a Starbucks and an oriental food buffet, but those pieces later were withdrawn. Subsequently, a Starbucks opened just across the creek from the Safeway parking lot in the Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center.

Safeway launched a $100 million advertising and marketing campaign this month to establish the new identity based on the slogan "Ingredients for Life."

Safeway representative indicated the company would like to complete the changes to the Steamboat store by early fall, Spence said.

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