Residents in Mountain House will soon be able to buy a loaf of bread and fill their tank of gas without leaving town as Safeway broke ground on a new supermarket and gas station Monday afternoon at the corner of Mountain House Parkway and Byron Road.

The 55,000 square-foot supermarket and gas station will be part of the 83,000 square-foot “Market at Mountain House” retail shopping center set to begin construction in June.

On Monday dignitaries gathered at the lot for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the milestone of the first grocery store coming to town.

Robert Rickman, 5th district San Joaquin County supervisor, presented members of the Mountain House Community Services district with a certificate marking the occasion.

“I am excited to see this property around us be developed especially to the Safeway and gas station. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve been out here a couple of times and prayed to God I didn’t run out of gas, so it will be nice,” Rickman said.

The 9.8-acre project is planned to bring restaurants, shops and services to Mountain House residents.

“And you know the great thing about having the retail, having Safeway is the quality of life, quality of life for our residents here in Mountain House so they don’t have to go to Tracy to shop. They can stay in their own neighborhood, the taxes that they spend in their neighborhood will stay here in Mountain House,” Rickman said. “In order to build up your community, you have to have the sales tax and the property tax and this is another factor that will go into that.”

Shea Properties is developing the project with CSI Construction Company as the general contractor tabbed to build the shopping center.

“I’m extremely excited. I’ve been watching this for a long time, and this is just the start of this. As we progress in Mountain House, we’ll get more retail, more shopping and again increase the quality of life for our residents,” Rickman said.

Bernice King Tingle, a member of the Mountain House Community Service Board of Directors, said she had been waiting almost 18 years for a grocery store to arrive in Mountain House.

“This is a day that has been long awaited. I know a lot’s been said and without being redundant, all I can say is that it’s been a long time coming. When I moved here at the beginning of this project in 2003, there was a store on the horizon. Well, it took, that we see, several horizons. I used to say, ‘Well gee, is this going to happen in my lifetime?’ Well, it is,” Tingle said.

Tingle thanked the developers and Safeway for coming to town.

“So I know on behalf of all the residents in Mountain House, I know everyone is extremely happy about this new venture. It’s going to open up so many opportunities for our residents as people move in to see new property starting,” Tingle said.

Safeway public affairs director Wendy Gutshall said Safeway was pleased to finally be coming to Mountain House.

“We couldn’t be more excited where the day has finally come where we get to break ground. Safeway has proudly been serving Northern California since 1926 and we look forward to adding Mountain House to that list of communities,” Gutshall said. “We also have a number of associates who live in the area and are as eagerly excited as everyone else.”

Construction is tentatively set to take about a year with the retail center opening in summer of 2022.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030

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