By Katherine Poythress 3:16 p.m.July 15, 2014
It's been a year and a half since the only full-service grocery store in Ocean Beach closed for good, but Apple Tree Supermarket announced this week that it is officially on its way back to the community.
Owner Saad Hirmez said he feels confident moving forward with plans to reopen in the old Bank of America building on Newport Avenue now that he knows he won't be facing a major grocery competitor in Apple Tree's old 15,500-square-foot building a few blocks away at the corner of Cable Street and Santa Monica Avenue. CVS is opening there instead.
He only left, Hirmez said, because he was unable to negotiate new terms with property owner Eliot Megdal & Associates after his lease ran out in 2011.
The new Apple Tree Market at 4978 Newport will be about 9,800 square feet, or a little more than half the size of the old market.
Hirmez doesn't know yet when the new store will open, because he just hired an architect last week and still has to navigate a conditional use permit for selling beer, wine and liquor.
"We’re going to start our permitting process for construction and plans and all that, regardless of the conditional use permit, and we're going to move forward, whichever comes first," he said.