RIVERBANK — Save Mart Supermarkets expects to break ground in a week or so on its new 57,000-square-foot store in Riverbank's Crossroads shopping center.
When it's completed in February or March, the store is expected to employ 80 to 90 people.
The new Save Mart will be built just west of Petco and Kohl's, north of Claribel Road, just off Oakdale Road. The 1.68-acre site will have about 200 parking spaces.
This will be Save Mart's 253rd store, and it will be the Modesto-based chain's most energy efficient and environmentally friendly, said Ray Agah, Save Mart's vice president of engineering.
Agah said about 60 percent of the store's lighting will come from 50 "prismatic skylights" that evenly distribute sunshine. The store will use motion and light sensors to turn off other lights when they're not needed.
The store's refrigeration system also will be environmentally friendly, Agah said. Rather than using Freon or chlorofluorocarbons that can hurt Earth's ozone layer, he said, cooling will be done with subzero water.
To help keep the entire store cooler during summer, Agah said, a white roof that repels heat will be installed.
Save Mart's interior design will make it easier for shoppers to get around. Agah said the aisles will be seven feet wide, rather than the five feet that's more typical in older stores.
"This way, if you want to stand there and read the greeting cards in the card aisle, you won't have to worry about someone bumping you in the back," Agah said.
The store also will make all 10of its checkout stands handicapped accessible.
To promote security, there will be closed-circuit cameras inside and outside the store.
Store features pharmacy, deli
It will be stocked with 55,000 to 60,000 types of products and include a pharmacy, full-service meat and seafood counters, extended bakery, deli, expanded frozen foods section and a produce department designed to look like a fruit stand.
Agah said the Riverbank store also will offer a cooking station staffed by chefs who will demonstrate how to prepare easy, nutritious meals in 15 minutes.
"We'll show you how to do it, you can sample the food, and all the ingredients will be there so you can grab and go," Agah said. "These are meals the average person can prepare at home.
"It will offer one-stop shopping," said Agah of the Riverbank store.
Not far away in northeast Modesto, Raley's is nearing completion of its new store in Village One Plaza.
That 65,000-square-foot supermarket at Roselle and Floyd avenues is expected to open in late August.
Among the special things Raley's will offer will be:
A large natural foods department to serve customers with specific dietary needs and to offer healthier alternatives.
An expanded selection of ready-to-eat prepared foods, including a gourmet sandwich shop and a sizzling wok station.
A U.S. Postal Service counter in the customer service department.
An Internet option that allows customers to shop online and have their groceries brought to their car in Raley's parking lot.
Raley's expects to hire about 130 people for the store.
Besides Raley's, Village One Plaza will offer 42,000 square feet of additional neighborhood oriented retail stores, shops and restaurants.
Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2196.