ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Operators of the state's largest grocery chain have started renovation projects at several Anchorage stores with plans to upgrade statewide stores in future years.
Safeway Inc. plans to upgrade its Carrs and Safeway stores at all 28 locations and build a replacement store in South Anchorage, said Glenn Peterson, district manager for Anchorage, Wasilla, Ketchikan and Juneau.
''We're going to touch virtually every store in Alaska in the next two to three years,'' he told the Alaska Journal of Commerce.
Safeway plans to build the new store at 88th Avenue and Abbott Road, replacing its Dimond Boulevard and Old Seward Highway location. The new store will measure 64,000 square feet, compared with the current store's 40,000 square feet, and be just slightly smaller than the Huffman Road store in Anchorage, Peterson said.
Construction could begin by spring. Peterson hopes to open the replacement store by the holidays.
Safeway is remodeling its store in Eagle River and the Jewel Lake store in Anchorage, he said. Work is scheduled to begin next month at the Carrs store on DeBarr Road in Anchorage, he said.
Safeway also has taken bids to renovate the Carrs store in North Pole. Joe Gulley, Safeway's Denali district manager, said construction could start next month and be finished by mid-summer.
Later this year, renovations will begin at two other Anchorage stores, at Huffman Road and Gambell Street, plus in Wasilla and Ketchikan, Peterson said. Renovations at the Juneau store could begin early next year, he said.
Upgrades vary by store and include altered store layouts, new freezers, equipment and fixtures, and changes such as new food court areas, he said.
Peterson would not say what the project's cost, including the new store. However, Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch during an Anchorage Economic Development Corp. forecast luncheon, listed $7 million for Carrs renovations.
According to Peterson, who had worked for Carrs 25 years, the renovations show Safeway's commitment to its stores in the state.
''They are definitely excited about the Alaska market,'' he said.
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