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Chinatown Walmart Nabs Permits Before Vote to Ban Chains

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A ninth inning attempt to block Walmart from opening a 33,000 square foot grocery store in Chinatown came up short, reports the Los Angeles Times (sub. req). The last construction permits for the store were obtained Thursday from the city's Building and Safety department--one day before the City Council voted on a motion to ban chain stores like Walmart from opening in the neighborhood. "This project is moving forward," Bud Ovrom, general manager of the Department of B&S, told the council. "This ordinance would not have any immediate impact on this project." Councilmember Ed Reyes proposed the motion to prevent "the issuance of demolition, building, and any other applicable permits for the establishment and operation of new Formula Retail Uses in Chinatown." Reyes's original motion included all chains, but was later amended to only apply to stores 20,000 square feet or larger. The timing is sweet for Walmart--the Council voted 13-0 today to have the city attorney write up the ordinance banning chains in Chinatown. Meanwhile, the Walmart is expected to open next year on the bottom floor of a senior housing development at Cesar Chavez and Grand.
· L.A. gives Wal-Mart permits for Chinatown store despite concerns [LA Times]
· Proposed Ordinance Could Block the Chinatown Walmart [Curbed LA]

Grand Plaza

701 W. Cesar Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA