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Uncertainty Reigns on Avenue 45

Those poor souls in Highland Park. We've learned more about their plight to get a supermarket than we'd ever hoped to know. What we now know is that the Albertsons store in question is scheduled for closure on 2/16. The property is owned by a family trust, with family members in Canada and Palm Springs. The family was unaware that Albertsons planned to close the store, and if the store had been leased to an independent grocer they say they should have been notified. The lawyer in charge of the family trust is now following up with Albertsons to see the what's what. In the meantime, the calls of anti-gentrification, pro-gentrification, and anti-"elitist whiners" continue to bombard our in-box. There's a helpful rundown of the saga after the jump, in easy to read bulleted type.

What we know as of 1/16/06:

· Albertsons Store Manager, Danny Wejbe has confirmed that store #6353 will be closing down on 2/16/06
· Signs are posted on store entrances informingcustomers of last day of business on 2/16/06
· Rumors have been posted on nelalist suggesting that an "independent" store will move in
· Owner of property, William R. Jalof, purchased shopping center in April of 1960 but passed away in the early 1980s. Property was since placed in the Jalof Family Trust. Trustees include Mr. Jalof's widow and son of Palm Springs, and daughter who resides in British Columbia, Canada. Family trust and property management is
handled by attorney located in Century City.
· As of 1/16/06, family members were not aware of Albertson's intent to close and suggested that if a lease was signed for an "independent" grocery store, they would have been consulted by attorney's office first. Daughter located in British Columbia will contact us as soon as she confirms what the situation is. She is confident that no lease agreement has been made with a new tenant.

What we know as of 1/18/06:

· According to Steve Wolff who handles Jalof family trust, they were not aware of Albertson's closing until they received the phone call from daughter of original owner on 1/17/06. He has placed a phone call to his contact at Albertson's regional office in Fullerton. He was not willing to give me his contact's name until he speaks with him again. Albertson's has a long-term lease that was signed for twenty-five plus years in the late 1990s. Steve says
Albertson's is in full control as far as what they want to do with the site. He will call me once he hears back from his Albertson's contact.
· Chaos in Highland Park: Albertsons Out Food 4 Less In? [Curbed LA]
· The Battle of Avenue 45 [Curbed LA]
· Albertsons: It was your store [Curbed LA]