Market to anchor mixed-use project OK'd by council

It looks as if Windsor is finally going to get a supermarket on the west side of town.

Oliver's Market is planning to open a store near Windsor's Town Green as part of a large commercial-residential project approved Wednesday by the Town Council.

"We have a letter of intent with Oliver's Market to be the anchor for the grocery store. It's fantastic," said Jeff Civian, the project civil engineer for Bell Village, one of the biggest developments proposed in Windsor for years

A new grocery store next to Windsor's Town Green has been something town officials have sought for awhile, as a convenience for nearby residents and to help bring more business to the Town Green Village shops.

"There's excitement you are in town. You will see us as your customers," Mayor Debora Fudge told Oliver's officials before the council unanimously approved Bell Village.

There are two supermarkets -- Safeway and Raley's -- on the other side of the freeway, but no comparably-sized grocery stores in Windsor west of Highway 101.

"I think Windsor needs some choices. The choices here are pretty limited," Oliver's General Manager Tom Scott said after the meeting. "We think it's an exciting project. We think we can do a good job for the town."

The Sonoma County-based Oliver's has two stores in Santa Rosa and one in Cotati and touts its natural, conventional and gourmet products, with an emphasis on buying from local companies.

While council members expressed excitement over Oliver's, they shared qualms with planning commissioners about the orientation of the proposed store and other buildings and how they fit into the pedestrian-oriented downtown.

"I feel the project is too auto-oriented," Fudge said, adding she would have preferred the store be more market-like and open to the street.

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