Store opening used as peg to push for traffic light Mountain Road event draws shoppers, officials

November 20, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

With music by Chesapeake High School's marching band and a politician's promise to push for a traffic light on nearby Mountain Road, the new Pasadena Safeway opened yesterday at Lake Shore Plaza to a waiting crowd of about 100 shoppers.

Safeway -- a tenant since the shopping center opened in 1983 -- closed its old store at 7 p.m. Tuesday, the remaining stock to be trucked to other stores in the chain, a spokesman said.

The new Safeway, in the thoroughly remodeled shell of a defunct Jamesway discount store, is about 80 percent larger, with 51,930 square feet of floor space compared to the old store's 28,420.

Its opening continues the economic growth along congested Mountain Road, where several new restaurants, stores and housing developments have opened in recent months.

Kirk Benefiel, manager of Lake Shore Plaza for Glen Burnie-based Rudder Management, said several parties have expressed interest in the space vacated by Safeway.

Republican Del. John R. Leopold -- among several politicians to speak at the opening ceremonies -- said he seeks a traffic light for the shopping center's Postal Court entrance, which primarily serves the Pasadena post office, a day-care center, a professional building and the Safeway store. "Maybe this will be the impetus to get the light," Leopold said.

While politicians sought a share of the limelight, Safeway executives got in their fair share of handshaking. More than a dozen regional officials of the chain watched the opening and greeted customers. Store manager Larry Grochowski offered his hand at the entrance.

Before 7 a.m., workers were sweeping the parking lot and steam-cleaning the sidewalk -- causing an unexpected problem of icing with temperatures still in the 20s. The store had plenty of salt to deal with the problem, however.

Customer Noreen Price, a homemaker who lives on nearby Elizabeth Road, said she arrived 40 minutes before the 9 a.m. opening "so I would be the first one coming in." She succeeded.

The first customer to part with cash appeared to be Nancy Capitano of Chelsea Beach, who handles the books in her husband's Mighty Distributing auto parts business. "I got in and got out fast," she said, dashing across the parking lot. "I have to get to work."

Her quarry? Rib roast, a grand-opening special at $2.99 a pound. "I'm having company for dinner," she said.

Pub Date: 11/20/97

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