Boise grocer Albertsons is aiming to take back several Los Angeles-area stores from Haggen Inc., the bankrupt grocer that is auctioning off the bulk of its stores, according to court documents filed Monday.

That would give Albertsons the same spaces it had owned before a merger with Pleasanton’s Safeway Inc. forced it to hand nearly 150 stores to Haggen, then a small chain in Bellingham, Wash., to avoid violating anti-trust laws. Albertsons is also going after 33 more of its former stores in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Albertsons isn’t the only player eyeing space in the lucrative – and competitive – L.A. market. Los Angeles-based Jons Marketplace is seeking a spot in Lomita. Phoenix’ Sprouts wants Culver City. Regency Centers of Jacksonville, Fla. is going after Woodland Hills. And Commerce’s Smart & Final Stores Inc. aims to claim Diamond Bar and Burbank. Starting bids range from $100,000 to $1.9 million.

The auction for these sites was scheduled for Monday in Century City.

Smart & Final had previously announced it would go after five stores in Los Angeles, part of its bid to pay $56 million for 28 Haggen stores in California and Nevada.

Gelson’s Markets was also an early bidder. It aims to nab Haggen’s Santa Monica site, part of a package costing $36 million for eight California stores.

Sales for both companies are expected to be confirmed at a hearing on Friday, according to court documents.

Three Los Angeles stores – in Santa Clarita, Long Beach and Redondo Beach – have not yet received any bids.

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