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Despite Design Concerns, Crenshaw Fresh & Easy Is Approved

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Rendering of store via KL Architects

Some opponents fretted about design elements of that new Fresh & Easy grocery store proposed for 52nd St and Crenshaw Blvd--specifically the sea of parking--but that didn't stop the City Council from approving an outpost of the British-based grocery store chain for Crenshaw. Likely the council was swayed by the dozens and dozens of supporters who flooded City Hall this morning, urging the city to approve the store.

Those who spoke out in support of the project talked about the lack of grocery stores in the area. But approving the store required an exception to the Crenshaw Specific Plan, which mandates that all new developments have parking in the back of the store, Dennis Gleason, press deputy for City Councilman Bernard Parks, tells us. Putting the parking lot in the back of this store wasn't feasible given the footprint of site, believes Gleason, who says the store would have been "too long and narrow" if the parking lot was in the back. Additionally, Fresh & Easy would have had issues with deliveries, he said.

Still, the store has drawn criticism from some residents, including the Hyde Park Organizational Partnership for Empowerment (HOPE), who appealed the project on the basis that the neighborhood deserves a different design. "We have hopes and aspirations for a better looking community," Crenshaw activist Asata Umoja told The Wave earlier this fall.

The only Councilman who voted against the store was Richard Alarcon, who expressed concern about the automated tellers (he was concerned about the tellers and the fact alcohol eventually may be sold at the store).
· Crenshaw Residents Team Up Against Strip-Mally Fresh & Easy [Curbed LA]