Practical Considerations, We Want Longs

There’s buzz lately about Safeway and their redevelopment plans for Rockridge Shopping Center.  As a first step, they intend to occupy the Big Long’s Drugs site and have already put the wheels in motion for mall modifications.  Many Oaklanders seem to be chatting about urban renewal possibilities there, so we wondered about your reactions in particular.

Long's Drugs, North Oakland

Well, Montclarions seem to be focused on practical considerations and their everyday, last-minute needs.  A nicer shopping venue would be great and all, but we have hella-love for this Long’s location and don’t want to see the place die:

The Long’s at Pleasant Valley is the only place where Oaklanders can go for a one-stop variety of things – drugstore, hardware, garden center, shoe repair, fabric, furniture, and appliances.  I’d hate to see it go.  Our city needs a general store, no matter if it’s in an auto-centric mall.

Oh no!  I was just at this Long’s tonight.  Diapers, vitamins, pie tins, swimming gear, a birthday card, and some groceries.  I love it for being so vast and exhaustive.  Everything’s there.  Even Top Dog.

Love that Long’s – 24 hours a day, with everything you could ever need.  Nothing else in the area comes close.

Apparently Montclarions are not alone in their Long’s adoration.  On Yelp, some 172 Oaklanders have even awarded 4.5 of 5 stars to this location.  You can read about shoppers who arrive at odd hours for things they need or didn’t know they needed.  One reviewer, on hearing about the closure, exclaimed: “Where else are we Oaklanders supposed to go during the Zombie Apocalypse?”

Regardless of the pro-Long’s contingent, reviews of mall changes are underway.   Oakland’s Planning Commission is soliciting comments on the scope of the environmental impact report tonight.  Many cool ideas have been surfaced by Oaklanders about transforming the entire mall footprint and creating a friendlier urban hangout.

Yet one thing seems clear:  your cries to save Long’s Drugs will fall on deaf ears.  You should start preparing for the loss of this geriatric and well-loved Long’s, due to expire sometime next year.  Getting a CVS or other drug store replacement simply isn’t the same thing.

More info:  A Better OaklandSan Francisco ChronicleLiving in the OTransbay BlogOur OaklandSafeway Redevelopment ProjectJuly 15th Meeting News