i ♥ downtown

have i mentioned how fantastic the los angeles downtown news is? there’s no similar local news coverage in an area like north hollywood. one way the downtown news could improve is to seperate the online publishing schedule from the once-a-week print publishing schedule.

this week, two articles caught my eye: the first is a profile of mark tarczynski. he’s excited about ralphs coming to downtown (and facilitated the deal), reportedly being convinced it could perhaps be a bigger boon to downtown residential development than the staples center. that’s a very big “duh.” living near a sports center is not exactly a residential dream: the place is empty a huge percentage of the time, and completely screws up movement in the area the other times. urban areas need a healthy mix of retail, business, and residential development, and a sports arena isn’t any of those.

i’m still frustrated at this slavish devotion to the idea that downtown needs a big-chain supermarket. i guess i’m just not excited about a large parking lot and crappy, over-priced packaged goods. i’d be excited about a trader joe’s.

i’m curious where it is at third and la brea that tarczynski does his food shopping (my guess would be whole foods), and whether he’s noticed he lives blocks from this thing called the grand central market. (in fact, they say they have 12,500 square feet of retail space available for a supermarket. that would be perfect for a trader joe's, which averages about 10,000 square feet.)

another article in the downtown news talks about how us bank acquired the rights to put their name on library tower (the tallest building on the west coast). it’s a shame they keep renaming the building to match the highest-paying tenant.

comments

Regarding Third & La Brea grocery shopping, there are two markets there. Trader Joe's (which often times has hard to find items) and Ralphs (which I could do without too).

» carlo » january 21, 2004 10:57am

Not sure what your name is, but let me comment on some of your points. As far as the "very big duh" goes, I wish that the concept was as easily grasped by the Ralphs Director of Real Estate. It took me ten years to convince him that locating in Downtown L.A. would be a profitable venture. Ralphs won't locate in a market unless there are at least 10,000 households. At the end of 2002, Downtown had only 5,500 households located within the freeway ring - hardly enough to support a 50,000sf supermarket. Fortunately for all of us, Ralphs signed their lease anticipating enough housing development to support a store by the end of 2005. As of this writing, it looks as if Downtown will have 13,000 households by the end of 2005.

As for Trader Joes and Whole Foods, they will only locate in a market where there already is a major supermarket existing. In other words, no Ralphs, no Trader Joes. If the Ralphs opens and does well, as all of us expect, you can bet Trader Joes will not be far behind.

Finally, supermarket shopping at Grand Central Market just isn't for me. I'm not saying it's bad or undesirable. It just doesn't appeal to me.

» Mark Tarczynski (link) » january 21, 2004 11:26am

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