Will beer and wine attract tenants to Echo Park’s retail island?

The developer planning to build a small, 4,000-square-foot commercial center on the site of a former Echo Park gas station has not signed a tenant yet. However, the owners have applied for a city permit to allow for the sale of beer and wine on the property, a triangle-shaped “island” at the corner of Glendale Boulevard, Montana Street. Armen D. Ross, a consultant representing the developer, said the conditional use permit would help a tenant interested in serving beer and wine to customers on the property (a summary  provided by the Planning Department said the applicant is seeking to sell beer and wine for off-site  consumption but Ross said that is an error).  If the city grants a permit, then it would be up to the tenant to obtain an alcohol license from the state, Ross said. “We don’t know what it’s going to be,” Ross said of the retail spaces. “But we wanted to have the permit just in case we do attract a cafe.”


  1. Could they please design an uglier building?

    No, seriously, that’s ugly, but I’m pretty sure they could make it even uglier.

    Armen D Ross just needs to put some effort into it and they might, MIGHT be able to build the ugliest new building in Echo Park.

  2. i’m a big fan of beer and wine, but i think they need to look for an architect, first.

  3. Also, wasn’t that supposed to be a park? Wasn’t there some sort of community cleanup at that thing awhile ago?

    Did we just spruce her up so that a developer would be willing to marry her?

  4. Perhaps Armen D Ross could design the facade to emulate our favorite little establishment on Echo Park Boulevard – the former Chango Coffee shop. Just the first floor of course…

    It’s going to be interesting if they build anything there. Groundwater is as shallow (5-6 feet) as some utility trenches, not to mention it being impacted from the former Unocal operations. The development will have to allow for groundwater monitoring wells.

    • To you new folk in the neighborhood,
      Its not Echo Park BOULEVARD .
      It is Echo Park AVENUE .

      • Easy. My mistake.

        • Cristi, I dare you to type “Silverlake” instead of “Silver Lake.” I guarantee you ploe will “ex-ploe-d.” 🙂

          • No , i wont explode, it is just that when your family has lived here since 1952 and has driven up or down “The Avenue” to visit family and friends , it brings fond familiar memories . We never called it “The
            Ah , but you would not know what it is like to have grown up in this awesome neighborhood, too bad.

          • ploe, I’m more offended by what’s going on in Eastern Congo, Western Sudan, North Korea and South Los Angeles than by simple mistakes in street-name terminology. I think it’s great that you are so unburdened by the world’s larger problems that someone’s incorrect use of “Boulevard” sets off your internal alarms. But then again, maybe that’s what happens when someone lives in the same area for 60 years and doesn’t travel much or pick up the newspaper.

  5. How can a developer be so out of touch that they think just because they build something no matter how ugly or out of touch with the community people will want it. This building already looks delapidated imagine what it will look like in a few years, yuk

  6. If you want ugly, have them design the building like the B of A office on Temple & Beaudry, or the one in Pasadena on Arroyo Secco & Green St. Now those are two really ugly buildings. Lets trade!

  7. I don’t know Mr. Ross but according to the article he is the consultant to the developer, not the developer. I have read of his long history of community service: Armen has devoted more than 23 years to public service. Most recently as Deputy Mayor and Director for Homelessness for Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn (Ret.) and prior to that as Assistant Chief of Staff and Legislative Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Nate Holden (Ret.) . And what does being Armenian have to do with anything here?

    • The comment you are referring to has been deleted.

    • Looks like a distinguished resume, but working for former L.A. City Councilmember Nate Holden brings up some issues.

      Not saying that Mr. Ross had any knowledge of the situation as the Assistant Chief of Staff, but Nate Holden incurred two or three lawsuits involving sexual harrasment of female staffers when he served on the City Council. The City paid to defend the lawsuits and maybe, Im not sure, also paid to settle the lawsuits.

      Councilmember Holden also distinguished himself for the record number of on-sale licenses granted in his district while he held office.

      Its quite possible even that Mr.Ross served as a restraint on Councilmember Holden’s penchant for attracting harassment accusations and doling out recommendations for granting on-sale licenses.

  8. He sounds like a good guy to me….excuse me while I laugh off Matswaltin’s perceived race comment.

  9. this might be one of the most out-of-touch designs I have ever seen.

  10. You can get drunk then run over

  11. Before we trash the design, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a planner suggested taking cues from the arches on the Backside/Two Boots building.

    Frankly, it gets a lot worse.

  12. Ploe, are you serious? LoL

  13. Echo Park is long since alcohol-central for this city. EVERYTHING is becoming about alcohol here. There already is far too much concentration of alcohol places in this neighborhood.

    Gee, just a couple blocks from this location, there was a notable concern issued by LAPD a few months back about an alcohol permit sought by a convenience store as being just too much for this overly saturated area. Now we have places that don’t yet even exist or have a tenant that want alcohol permits! Just because that will increase the value at which they can rent!

    Like the city hasn’t given this guy too much for free already, when Garcetti bent over backwards to give him the street behind his property for free so that he could build even bigger than he otherwise would have been able to build! You can thank Garcetti for this monstrosity, and for this alcohol application.

    I think we should take that street back, allowing for the continued smooth exit off Glendale rather than a stop and turn, let something smaller and more appropriate be built, and nix the alcohol permit. Garcetti has just done wrong by the neighborhood in what he is doing here.

  14. Will the city give me some free land too, so I can also sell booze?

  15. There is the remote possibility that Mr. Ross doesn’t really intend to construct the building seen in the rendition or lease space to tenants who plan to vend alchoholic beverages.

    There is the remote possibility that Mr. Ross only wishes to gain approval for the maximum possible structure and the maximum possible conditional use permit on the parcel.

    The purpose would be for establishing and documenting the maximum potential value of the parcel which he planned to develop.

    Why would anyone work to win approval for the structure and the use permits if they were not actually intending to move forward with the development?

    Of course, one possibility is simply to enhance the value of the parcel for other potential buyers. But thats something any investor could have done.

    The other possibility is much more special. This requires a person who is familiar with intricate and obscure provisions of tax code. It may also help to have access to certain obscure records maintained by the city, state, or other government agencies.

    Under this scenario, an investor purchases the vacant parcel at Glendale Blvd./Montana at a relatively low price. The low price reflects the fact that the dimensions and location of the parcel severely limit any potential uses.

    The developer pushes ahead with the grand plans. He gets green lights from the city and proceeds to break ground. Only to find that the soil is so deeply contaminated that he is the owner of Super Fund Site.

    The developers plans are dashed. Luckily he is able to claim losses based on the potential value of the fully developed project. The loss is than used to offset taxable gains from other projects resulting in a valuable tax savings.

    This is a remote angle, of course. But it is an angle.

    • I wouldn’t go as far as to say Superfund, but based on my quick review of available data, the dissolved-phase benzene that’s increasing downgradient of the site is what’s holding it up from closure. True though about the discount.

  16. All that said and Done. I suppose a Bev Mo would have done Just Fine.
    Rite Aid
    Bev Mo
    I. miss Old Family Business`s like Lee`s Kitchen, and Community Hallmarks like Pioneer Market, Woolworth Woolco; As much as Anyone ? But I. Still Believe these ” Big Companies ” still provide more of a Service, more Jobs, and Economic Stimulas, than your typical runnaway Westside Art Gallery or Herbal Smoke Snack Bar ~

    • There’s a lot of debate whether companies like Wallgreen create as many jobs as they end up taking from smaller businesses. I guess being able to do it better cheaper is just the American way so businesses that can do it better will eliminate the competition but there is also just the culture of poverty that is created by mega companies who aspire to only pay their employees minimum wage so that they can maximize their profit. I think i’d rather have an art gallery

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