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Crenshaw Residents Team Up Against Strip-Mally Fresh & Easy

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Rendering of store via KL Charles Architects
Meh, say Crenshaw residents to designs for the Fresh & Easy grocery store proposed for 52nd and Crenshaw, reports The Wave. Pre-packaged British food is fine, it's the planned Crenshaw-facing parking lot that has people shaking their heads. Area groups including the Hyde Park Organizational Partnership for Empowerment (HOPE) want something akin to the Central and Adams store and say the CRA-backed Crenshaw store is a strip-mall, and strip-malls are banned on the boulevard as part of the Crenshaw Specific Plan, a set of planning and design guidelines. Encompassing Crenshaw from the 10 to Inglewood, residents and politicians helped pass the plan in 2004 and in doing so, banned additional "automotive businesses, drive-through establishments, gun and pawn shops, swap meets, public storage, motels, bars not attached to dining and dancing businesses, recycling and buy-back centers and strip malls," according to the paper.

Obviously, the Crenshaw plan was aimed at making the boulevard more pedestrian-friendly--it's going to have a partially-underground train line running through it by 2018--and a parking-fronted grocery story doesn't quite fit that vision-- “We have hopes and aspirations for a better looking community," Crenshaw activist Asata Umoja told The Wave. Crenshaw residents say no new store would be built like this in other parts of the city--some grocery stores on the Westside and Valley are building new facilities where parking is hidden from the street. Apparently, the city knows the Crenshaw Fresh n' Easy is a strip-mall too--they voted to allow five variances from the Crenshaw plan to be disregarded in September, including the strip-mall provision. Members of HOPE appealed that decision and will speak their peace to the city's Planning and Land Management Committee on November 16th.

· Not So Easy to Agree on Chain's Plans for Crenshaw [The Wave]
· Goodmon: Go Deep on Crenshaw Line [Curbed LA]