Good Bye Fresh n Easy Hello 99 Cents Only Store

Aug 99web

A decade ago developers acquired the property at Jefferson and Crenshaw which also included the Union Bank, originally known as the Bank of Tokyo. They attempted to develop a large project which would have included demolishing the bank but fortunately, for preservationists, this project fell through. A few years ago the developers proposed a smaller project with a Fresh n Easy grocery as its anchor tenant. The community was thrilled as Fresh n Easy offered healthy pre-made meals, fresh produce and an alternative to other supermarkets. With the new project, preservationists were able to make the case to keep the Bank of Tokyo, an historically important building, but only the front half survived with the back half removed.  

Unfortunately Fresh and Easy went bankrupt and the building was left languishing for a year before the 99 Cents Only store came along.  Disappointment from the community wasn’t the only issue the store faced.   The new owners were not told that Crenshaw Boulevard had a specific plan which determined what they could and could not do. Project approval depended on certain requirements being met - including transparent windows for 40% of the building. Unaware of this, a floor to ceiling wall was built behind the windows along Crenshaw revealing wall studs to passersby. Neighbors complained to their local neighborhood council, UNNC, which immediately jumped into action. After several meetings the Planning Department admitted it had made a mistake and rescinded the approval for the wall, which is now gone. 

At press time the date for the opening is unknown but imminent.

Photo by Dawn Kirkpatrick

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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