PARKS BRINGS FRESH & EASY TO SOUTH LA
CITY HALL – Councilmember Bernard C. Parks successfully thwarted an attempt to derail approval of a much-needed Fresh & Easy neighborhood market on Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles , during a City Council meeting on Wednesday.
“In a community with the highest rate of diet-related health problems – such as obesity and diabetes – as well as the lowest life expectancy in the city, this is a monumental step toward providing residents the choices they need to take control of their diet and their health.” Parks said.
Opposition to the development was based largely on the design, with opponents demanding the parking lot be placed behind the store, instead of next to it. Due to the shape of the parcel, Fresh & Easy was unable to accommodate that concern. LAPD Senior Lead Officer Andre Dixon from 77th Division spoke in favor of the current layout, testifying that a different design with parking behind the store would decrease visibility and pose a public safety risk.
Fresh & Easy is the first full-service grocery store to seek to open in the Eighth District in over a decade.
Austin Beutner, the first deputy mayor of Los Angeles and the city’s economy chief, noted the irony: Fresh & Easy has opened up three inner-city grocery stores while Safeway, based in Pleasanton, and Trader Joe’s, with headquarters in Monrovia, watch on the sidelines.“It takes a company from the U.K. to see the opportunity in the L.A. marketplace,” said Beutner, referring to Tesco, the British parent company of Fresh & Easy.
PHOTO CAPTION: Councilmember Bernard C. Parks shakes hands with Walter Cathey Jr, Regional Director for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, and stands with community supporters on the steps of City Hall after the vote.