Construction Updates: Safeway Shopping Center, Tanforan, Movie Theater, Arby’s and More!

South San Francisco, CA  August 6, 2021

With Chestnut Avenue backed up with construction traffic, more locals are using Spruce Avenue as a main artery to navigate from the east and west side of South San Francisco. The new Police Department and the 7-story residential development on the former South City Car Wash property appear to be close to completion, with construction now beginning on the new Community Campus.


However, now there will be major developments coming in off the Spruce Avenue corridor and El Camino Real, adding more challenges to an already congested City.

Please read the information below and share your thoughts and ideas on the proposed changes coming to our City.


The City has just now advised there will be a large concrete pour on Monday, August 9, and Friday, August 13 between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. along Chestnut Avenue and Antoinette Lane as part of these developments. {FYI: the concrete pour will result in parking and shoulder lane closure along westbound Chestnut Avenue between Mission Boulevard and Antoinette Lane and at Antoinette Lane. Sidewalks along the project’s frontage remain closed; pedestrian safe paths of travel detour signs are deployed. Commuters can expect some minor delays due to additional truck traffic.)


Heading west towards El Camino and Chestnut from Westborough Blvd, the 7-story residential building replacing the South City Car Wash is coming towards completion with the new PD Station and Civic Center on the left side rising up.

This photo, from a few months ago, shows the development on El Camino Real and Chestnut, replacing the former South City Car Wash.

This is the rendering of the  6-story 174 unit mixed use development to replace South City Car Wash.

Many neighbors have complained for nearly a decade at the eyesore caused by the closed Safeway Shopping Center on Spruce and El Camino Real, yet having that access via Spruce has been a benefit. Soon we will see some major construction on this southern end of South San Francisco with the news of developments to many properties on El Camino Real, Tanforan Avenue, Huntington Avenue, and the surrounding area.


This map outlines the area of proposed development – it will be a huge impact to our ever-changing City.


The Safeway Shopping Center (#14 on map), located at 180 El Camino Real and Spruce Avenue, covers 14-acres and new plans are in place for a 63,000-square-foot Safeway grocery store, and additional retail outlets, which will only cover 3 of these acres.  The South San Francisco Planning Department are working on conceptual ideas for the remaining acreage. Past plans had included multiple buildings offering housing units, however this property is now owned by real estate developer SteelWave who may have other plans.

UPDATE: 8/10/21 below sent to us by Megan McDonnell

Past renderings of the proposed Centennial Village – Currently we only know that Safeway will return on 3 of the 14 acres of this property


Just across the street from the new Safeway Shopping Center, at 1477 Huntington Avenue (#42 on the map), a seven-story residential development is planned, bringing in another 262 ‘family units’ with residential amenities and open space on this 1.98 acre lot.



The old Century Theater, located at 410 Noor Avenue,  sits on 4.5 acres and the City plans a 3 to 5-story ‘mixed-use’ development with 338 residential units with underground parking.

















Behind the scenes, developers have acquired 26-acres with the address stated as 30 Tanforan Avenue (at S Maple Ave), and proposals call for six office / R&D buildings ranging in heights up to seven stories and totaling approximately 2.7M square feet, development of a parking garage, below-grade parking, site amenities, open space and landscaping.  This will be huge.   



At the northern end of San Bruno on El Camino Real, the 44-acre lot at Tanforan Shopping Center will become 1,000 housing units with an innovation hub and a biotech campus. The San Bruno City Council have projected groundbreaking on this development around 2024/2025. {see below for more information on Reimagining Tanforan Land }



Also on El Camino Real, a bit north from the Spruce Safeway, a 5-story hotel is planned for the old Arby’s site at 840 El Camino Real on the this .5 acre lot.

On the other side of El Camino Real, at 360 and 364 Alta Vista Drive, a residential project consisting of 13 single-family dwelling units with attached ADU will be developed on this 1.5 acre lot.

To check other areas of construction in South San Francisco, please CLICK HERE to view the City interactive map.


Reimagining Tanforan Land Use Fact Sheet





UPDATE 8/10/2021:This was sent to us by Megan McDonnell

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Jolynne Rich
Jolynne Rich
2 years ago

None of these are affordable for low income families. They say the take section 8 ,but like the ones across from tandoran by jacks restaurant a two bedroom is 4000.00. why can’t the make something for family fun like a miniature golf course with arcade and other family fun things. I just think south San Francisco people in charge have sold out the community.

2 years ago

Exciting for South City!

2 years ago

Exciting!!! We need housing!!!

Kimberly Terry
Kimberly Terry
2 years ago

Stop the madness. Why, why, why, I know affordable housing is needed, yet why is it only SSF destroying the community and access to provide housing that exceeds our City’s needs?

Why doesn’t the Mayor and City Council listen to the community. Ready to move after over 30 years!