Safeway Closing

The Safeway store on Hayden Island is closing on June 9, 2018. Portland Maps shows the 2017 value of the property at $11.3 million. Safeway owns the 55,000-square-foot Jantzen Beach building.

It’s the only full-service grocery on the island. It will leave residents without cars (such as myself), in a bind. Not many groceries can be carried on the bus or fit on a bike. The Max line doesn’t extend to Hayden Island and the bus stop at the mall is a mile or so from most residents.

What would you like to see in the Safeway building? Here are some possibilities:

  • Zupans, Wholefoods, New Seasons, Fred Meyers, Winco, Grocery Outlet, Trader Joes, etc.

  • Carousel, Food Court, McMenamins, theatre

  • Thrift store like Value Village, Goodwill,

  • Community Center, Ice Age Virtual Museum, Micro theatre

  • Car/Bike Sharing, Bike shop, Charge station, Fitness Center, Coffee Shop, Restaurant

But in the age of on-line shopping, isn’t it time to re-think the whole concept of malls? Malls might be re-positioned as a social experience, more like a theme park.

The old Safeway, might feature VR amusement rides, a food court, and lockers to pick up your Amazon orders. Virtual Reality arcades in Portland include Creature VR and SuperPlayor.

What are the essential NW experiences we can map using Unity?

1. Subduction Zone
2. White water rafting
3. Forest Fire Zip Line
4. Mountain Bike Zombie
5. Windsurf Tsuanmi
6. Columbian Mammoth v. Kennewick Man
7. Broughton Flume
8. Hydroplane Racing
9. Ski Mt St Helens
10. Missoula’s Revenge

The Safeway building could be a creative hub…a platform for virtual media experiences and exhibitions. Jack Horner was the paleontologist and adviser to Jurassic Park. In March 2015, George Church and his genetics research team at Harvard successfully copied woolly mammoth genes into the genome of an Asian elephant using CRISPR. But VR simulation is lots cheaper.

Make it a 501(c)3 and support science, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A virtual content studio like Oregon Story Board or CoMotion Labs could blossom into an innovation hub with an attached virtual theme park.

Fort Vanvouver Virtual Reality is a collaborative project between 7th & 8th grade Washington State History students and The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. They have made 3D models of actual artifacts.

It could be the home of the Oregon Historical Museum annex – with space left over for a Made In Oregon store and local Farmer’s Market.