Target faces a tough sell over its new Glassell Park store

Rendering of Glassell Park Target


GLASSELL PARK — A lease has been signed to open a new “flexible-format” Target store in the former Fresh & Easy market on Eagle Rock Boulevard despite some neighborhood opposition and a petition signed by over 300 residents.

The news of a freshly signed lease surprised the folks who attended the community meeting hosted by the Glassell Park Improvement Assn, whose board members appeared blindsided by the agreement. Many said they would have preferred a full-fledged grocery store at the location and were perplexed by the fact that the new store would operate near existing Targets at Eagle Rock Plaza and the Glendale Galleria.

“Why do you think we need another Target when the community so desperately needs a bonafide grocery store?” asked Gail Salmo, who has lived in Glassell Park for 13 years.

The meeting was held about a month after The Eastsider reported that the discount store giant was looking into opening a store at the site. Target representative and Senior Development Manager John Dewes said the discount chain’s “flexible-format” stores, which range from 15,000 to 50,000 square-feet in size, won’t carry as many items as a typical store so it can focus on “essentials.” A floor plan displayed at the meeting showed a grocery and apparel section as well as a pharmacy and a Starbucks cafe. They’re “really crafted for the community,” he said.

The Target would fill the space left vacant since late 2015 when Fresh & Easy ceased operations. But despite talk of having plenty of aisles dedicated to solely groceries in the new Target, many residents were not won over.

“Is this a final venture? Has it been approved by the city?” asked Gail Salmo, a Glassell Park resident of 13 years. Dewes answered that although a lease has been signed, they were currently “undergoing approvals by the city.”

Residents were mainly concerned about the need for a grocery store in the neighborhood and traffic and safety issues that could result in congestion near schools,and York Boulevard during rush hour.

Dewes did not release a date of a grand opening of the new flexible-format Target. Dewes also welcomed an open discussion with the community about concerns they might have “once the store is up and running.

Pamela Avila is a Los Angeles-based journalist, with a B.A. in English Literature from UC Santa Cruz. You can read more of her published work here.

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  1. As someone who has lived in Glassellland for 10+ years – we have to get over the idea that the Fresh & Easy space (or any commercial space) is ours to vote on and agree the best use like a commune. We’ve made our case both by reaching out to retailers and by supporting those who did take that space in the past. I shopped at Fresh & Easy almost every day from its opening to its closing and mourned its loss but ya know – I am excited for a small-scale mildly customized Target.. Yes, it would be great to have the perfect combination of Trader Joes, WF360 and an organic farmers market in that space – and yes, other Targets are already quite accessible and this one won’t add much that they don’t have. (And yes – Target’s fresh food has been underwhelming, at least at the Eagle Rock Target, though others I’ve been do seem to have better quality meats and fresh items). But – there’s nothing that says “don’t open any decent retail businesses in this neighborhood” (from stores to restaurants to anything else) than having our largest individual store in the heart of the hood on a prime corner sit fenced off and decaying. Target is a decent corporate citizen in many instances, has affordable prices (vs. most local grocery chains) and while for some of us it’s just 10 minutes of driving and gas saved, for many of our neighbors this means walking instead of driving – not just to a nearer Target, but to a nearer grocery store. This store will look good (as it’s a test case for a bigger initiative) and be well-maintained, and create new jobs for our neighbors (likely more than F&E had, especially towards the end). This is not the same thing as one more 7-11 (which I agree is a bad omen and trouble-generating). And as for traffic – if this finally gets some upgrades into ALL the intersections including the 5-way on York behind it and the 3-way without a left turn off Eagle Rock in front of it, which might benefit from a big company involved in the community supporting such improvements – we might win, but really wouldn’t get much worse (I didn’t see much difference in the traffic issues in this area before F&E vs. during F&E vs. after, they’ve always been a mess).

  2. Since the Hollywood Target is still in perpetual limbo, those of us in Echo Park will probably end up using this Target. Driving all the way out to Eagle Rock or Glendale from here is a chore.

    • Really? Eagle Rock Target is literally one more freeway exit on the 2 past where this one would be, and since Eagle Rock Target is right next to the freeway, it would take literally the same amount of time to drive to from Echo Park as this one would.

  3. Traffic? Just close down a car lane and replace it with a bike lane… isn’t that the formula ? Worked so well on Rowena ave.

    but seriously Why do you all complain when a chain store that obviously knows what they are doing wants to improve your neighborhood with a nice store that close by. Isn’t that what you all want? abandon your polluting cars, drive your bike, walk? Maybe support some of your local businesses up and down Eagle Rock Blvd. there’s a lot of diversity there in small local shops struggling to survive before the greedy landlord doubles or triples their rent and forces them to close. Would you rather stare at a fenced in parking lot and a closed building for over a year collecting dirt weeds graffiti and homeless?

    What they did to the proposed Target on Hollywood blvd. is a disgrace and those responsible (Shyster lawyers) for shutting it down and leaving it there like that should be charged with littering. Isn’t it obvious that shutting down a major construction and leaving a blight on the area while lawyers and city officials point fingers at each other does more harm to a community that a building that’s a few feet too high?

    What you have is far too much “Public opinion” by those with too much time on their hands sitting around holding community meetings and complaining about everything.

    • “What you have is far too much “Public opinion” by those with too much time on their hands sitting around holding community meetings and complaining about everything.”

      I submit to you Exhibit #1:

      “Traffic? Just close down a car lane and replace it with a bike lane… isn’t that the formula ? Worked so well on Rowena ave.

      • My point exactly, the big bike lobby were at all those meetings whining about pedestrian and bike safety they managed to push through that failed permanent experiment on Rowena Ave. that we now have to endure. Real people were too busy siting in traffic commuting, we clearly missed those meetings or our voices were ignored.

        • Your comprehension is about as good as your grasp on reality. You are a great example of what you seem to be complaining about in your post.

          The “bike lobby” was there “whining” about safety because someone had just been hit and killed. Someone’s death sounds like a pretty good reason to consider changes, even if it means you have to be in your car an extra 20 seconds or 20 minutes. No one is making you drive down Rowena are they? You prefer to do nothing and that’s fine, but let’s not lose sight of the actual issues at play rather than your perceived reality.

          To my knowledge no one else has died on Rowena since as the result of being hit by a car, so it sounds like it is successful to me. If you don’t want to be sitting in traffic and want to your voice to be heard, then make the choices that will help make that happen. You can start by trying the bike lanes since by your account they would certainly help you save time.

          You weren’t ignored. In fact most of the city is what happens when people do exactly what you are suggesting, which is to design our streets pretty much exclusively so that people can travel in their cars and act like safety isn’t their problem or that there is no way to share our public space, which belongs to people and not cars. We’ve done it your way for about a half of a century and that’s why we are in this mess to begin with. You clearly feel this is true, but that doesn’t just make it so.

          • I don’t really have an opinion one way or another about the Rowena traffic calming/bike lanes, however, I am rather annoyed when people point out that traffic fatality as the reason why the change was necessary. That incident had ZERO to do with traffic on Rowena. It was the result of someone jaywalking at night. People can be killed anywhere on any street doing that, and it’s got nothing to do with the street design or how much traffic there is or how fast that traffic is moving. It’s very terrible and sad, but it’s the result of a split second decision that someone made that they should not have.

          • ese-ese: you are wrong on several levels here.

            There are several news articles and documentation in the public record that this strategy was in response to the death of a pedestrian death:

            Secondly, you are incorrectly applying the term jaywalking and clearly don’t understand the rules and laws around walking. There is plenty of evidence and analysis that discuss the connection between roadway design, quantity of traffic, traffic speeds, and safety on a roadway. Whether you want to accept it or not, the current configuration will have less collisions, even if it serves a similar amount of traffic (which it does) as a result of roadway design preventing four crash types. Pre and post analysis of similar strategies universally result in fewer collisions.

            More importantly, it is damn near impossible to jaywalk on this street. Jaywalking can only occur between two signalized intersections and implies an illegal crossing. The person killed, and most people crossing Rowena between two intersections, one of which is not signalized, are not jaywalking. And there are legally unmarked crosswalks at each of these uncontrolled intersections. So when pedestrians cross there, it is not jaywalking and it is a legal crossing. It is too bad they let folks who don’t understand basic safety and rules of the roadways, for everyone, not those just in a car, have a drivers’ license.

      • I agree. The bike lanes on Rowena are a huge disaster. So are the ones on York Boulevard. The problem is, the bike people have a lot of free time to sit at meetings and whine to city council members.

        • No, they don’t. And “real people”? You and R Patton are seem just as guilty of living in a bubble as those you criticize.

        • There are plenty of businesses and people on York who disagree with you big time, not to mention the safety and economic statistics relating to the street before and after the road diet. Sorry you can’t haul @** through here like back in the day.

  4. Y don’t they put a biglots instead

  5. This is great, I’ll use this location. Would boxy condo’s have been received more favorably? Sprouts, Trader Joes, Gelsons, Vons and 365 are only 5-10 minutes away so I don’t understand everyone feeling underserved by supermarkets unless you find a 10 minute drive in LA unacceptable.

    • Exactly…add to that Super King, Super A, Food 4 Less…all within approximately the same distance from this location to the Eagle Rock Target. Do these not count as “bonafide grocery stores”?

      • no those grocery stores don’t count, sorry.

        • Why not? Because they don’t cater to yuppies?

          • I stopped into the Big Saver Foods the other day and couldn’t even find a bar of chocolate. Crappy selection of stuff if you ask me.

            Anyway, I’m happy that I’ll be able to walk to a grocery store again. I have no idea how the selection at this Target will be (I’ve never shopped for food at Target), but at the least it’ll be good for a snack or two.

            I hope the development agreement includes removing the left turn from Ave 42 onto ER Blvd. That thing is hell.

  6. Go on Target. Do your thing. I’m sure it’s going to be the first of many improvements happening in this area. The Urban Pet that just opened is also a welcome addition.

  7. Glassell Park mom

    This would be a welcomed opening! Hope it works out with them. Wish I’d been able to make it to the meeting.

  8. Whatever business eventually makes this site home; demand enhancement of green space beautification, well-maintained, clean business grounds.

  9. Why do so many comments on NELA issues lead with a brag about how long they lived here? Do you think it establishes credibility? It doesn’t. It makes you sound like you think your argument is valid on not its merits, but just because you lived here 10 years.

    “I live here and I have a dumb point to make,”

    “Who cares?”

    “I’ve lived here since back when Pete Wilson was governor.”

    “…WELL, then.”

    • They suffer from the “First in Syndrome”.

    • If you have something constructive to add, why not do so, rather than ad hominem griping?

      • i’m griping about a practice, not a person. do you know what ad hominem means?

        • I’m suggesting your reply evades almost all the points raised by the commenter, and diverts to considerations of what the commenter might have been thinking. Why not address the substance? This comments section, alas, sees few enough substantive comments as it is.

          • Because not every comment on the internet has to address every point in a 400+ word rant to be a valid criticism!

  10. These guys aren’t idiots — they open stores where their market research says they can attract customers and make money. If all you want is a Whole Foods, move to a fancier neighborhood, if you can afford it.

  11. I’d like to ask Gail Salmo if she has considered raising the capital and putting in the hard work to open a grocery store herself if she thinks it is so important to the community that she goes through the effort of attending a meeting in order to tell other people what to do. I’ve got to say I really don’t understand this seemingly new mindset where quick to complain people think it makes sense to go around telling individual property owners or businesses that they should do what the complainers think is appropriate.

  12. We do not need a Target store in the old Fresh and Easy location!! We absolutely need a food market! Trade Joes would be perfect especially due to all the building of apartments in this area!

  13. The store our neighborhood needs comes down to one word:

    * * * ALDI * * *

    Can I get an “AMEN”!??!

  14. I was really hoping for a Treader’s Joe to open at that location, but maybe the parking lot was too big! 😉 I’m happy with target too. As long is not another fucking thrift store!

  15. I lived down the street from this building until the last few years. I don’t know what people are talking about regarding traffic – the Fresh N Easy and Albertson’s seemed modest, and at a well-controlled intersection. And the notion that there’s no grocery store nearby is ludicrous. York has two very large supermercados, the fairly new Sprouts is just up the street on Eagle Rock Blvd, and a TJ’s in 3 directions (Eagle Rock on Colorado, South Pas, and Hyperion in Silver Lake). Target is also trying to get the grocery dollar, so I suspect the “flexible format” will include low priced staples.

    I wasn’t at the public meetings, and didn’t know about the Target, but that property is always crying for a viable business, and Target might be the one.

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