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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Silver Lake shopping center’s fate remains up in the air

The Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet became the most recent shop to close at a Silver Lake shopping center as rumors spread about the redevelopment of the  Glendale Boulevard strip mall.  The manager of the Ralphs market in the center told Curbed L.A. that  a store remodel and expansion could begin in July but was still awaiting confirmation. The Eastsider reported in January that several other tenants – including a Baskin Robbins and Straw Hat Pizza – have moved out and others have been told their leases will not be renewed when their leases expire this year.  Ralphs spokespersons Terry O’Neil and Kendra Doyel have not responded to requests for more information about the grocery store.

The KFC closed its doors for good on Sunday, said Tony Cornejo, who owns Tony’s Barbershop next door.  Cornejo, who has worked out of the Silver Lake shopping center for more than 30 years, said his own lease expires in September. As a result, he will move his business to Cypress Park, where he has purchased a barbershop on Figueroa Street.



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47 comments

  1. This is the sad result of gentrification . Fortunately the small business owner was able to get a new location for his business.But, I think it is important to remember and respect the community before , during and after “development”. The sad truth is Highland Park, Cypress Park, Silver Lake and especially Echo Park have fallen victim to gentrification. Kicking people of their communities, their homes because one can’t keep up with ends meet.

    • change is difficult for all neighborhoods. I find myself blaming ‘gentrification’, ‘hipsters’, ‘developers’, our Mayor, our Councilman, the boom, the bust, the weather – anything but that feeling of goodbye to the old and hello to the uncomfortable newness of change. For my son, the changes in the ‘hood that are horrible to me will be the gold standard for him. And when change happens for him when he’s middle age he’ll likely cast around for the new generation of hipsters, the boom or the bust, or the current Dodger owner, or the greedy developer of his day. For me I am worn out pointing my finger and it bring me nothing but frustration and a feeling of powerlessness and a hangover from righteous indignation. I say bring it on. When they fill all those empty spaces I hope it’s something that brings us meaning . If it’s not I’m going to drive on by and find something I love to shine my light on. Hang in there people!! The most important thing happening is today.

  2. Really? Mourning the loss of a KFC, Baskin Robbins and one Los Angeles’ ugliest strip malls? I feel bad for the barber shop and hope they find a new home, but this strip mall is and always has been an eyesore.

    • I agree Bob. The current look of that strip mall is cheap and awful. I don’t remember what year they gave it the hideous look it has now, but before that it had a tiny bit more character, Spanish clay roof tiles and not a terrible facade, even though it was a chain market (Hughes). Now it’s just blah, a behemoth eyesore that is so nondescript and devoid of personality it could be anywhere in the county. As for KFC, Ralph’s (has anyone else noticed that the Ralph’s stinks, literally?), and Round Table Pizza, good riddance to bad rubbish. Tony is a different story, but I’m glad he has a new place. Hopefully, the women at the salon next door will fare well too. Just hope the owners have plans that don’t include another nail/tanning/check cashing establishment.

    • I’ve always called that the “Ghetto Ralphs”.

      • Funny, I’ve always called that the “hipster” Ralphs. They have things like gourmet cheese and a pretty good wine selection, and the liquor’s not behind locked glass. You want ghetto Ralphs? Try 3rd/Vermont. Even a remodel didn’t save that place.

    • Bob, for the love of bunnies! How hard is it to finish a 200 word blog?
      “I feel bad for the barber shop and hope they find a new home”
      The time you spent writing your opinion, you could have finished such an easy read and thus not feel bad at all for the barber.

    • The barber shop will be moving to Cypress Park on Fig near Ave 26 in October.

    • First of all. That ” Strip Mall ” ? Is on the NNW slope of Echo Park, in an Area sometimes referred to as Edendale. More Important to Silverlake than Echo Park; It is Nevertheless an Important Shopping Center for that Neck of the Community. Strange that many of the same Red Hill Monks who Bemoan the Misfortunes of KFC and Baskin Robbins; Also Laud the Liberation of the Oppressed Spirit of Enterprise, at the Foot of such Nobel Cultural Philanthropists as Boston/Chicago Second Chance Development Trust, The Echo Park Chapter of Actors and Artists for Animals, and ( O My God ) The City of Los Angeles Pension Plan. I`ve lived a few minutes Walk from Sunset and Echo Park since 64 and have Family who can trace roots in L.A. as far back as Bunker Hill and Old Chinatown. I actually like Little Ceasar`s and Wallgreens. I. Believe they provide a needed service to the community ( Along say, Pizza Buona, or even Dodger Stadium ). Thus would I. Delete All my DRM Demon Classic Rock for a Pollo Loco or a Tully`s Coffee. Really cant say the same for Condo`s Hemp Wraps and Uncle Salty`s (We Deliver) Kosher Corn Dogs ?

  3. if the sad result of gentrification is a nicer shopping center i want to actually shop at and is a better fit for the neighborhood , i’m all for it!

  4. Before the buldozers come and the new urbanists insist the parking be placed behind the building and height increased and more market rate condos go in, keep in mind there is a well established neighborhood consisting of modest single family homes and duplexes, right behind this shopping center.

    There are public safety, traffic and not-to-be-dismissed viewshed issues with this shopping center that should be resolved by working with the neighbors before any “improvements” are made. Leaving it up to City Planning and Building & Safety to resolve these issues are a guarantee that nothing will come of it.

    If the Neighborhood Council is involved, they need to reach out directly to the affected neighborhoods (and keep in mind the people who have lived with this shopping center for decades have valuable input) prior to making ANY reccomendations.

    • I wish neighborhood input really was a factor in the decision-making process, but after a couple of things going south around here in terms of neighborhood involvement and new development (Allesandro St/El Moran) I think it’s ultimately a City Planning/LADBS decision.

  5. If/when 20/20 video closes (or just moves??), I’ll lose my only extensive blu ray rental store.

    Then what?

  6. It’s about time. I don’t live near this complex any longer but it always had such a sketchy element. The Ralphs parking lot seemed to be a meth hub and their security guards acted like users. I caught one of the guards spazzing out alone in his car. I’m not sure why the police tolerated it all. There is definitely a seedy underbelly and leveling it and starting over sounds like a good solution. Besides, isn’t Tom Mix’s horse buried on the property?

  7. Solano Canyon Pop

    Not very sad at all. This coming from someone who went to KFC almost every other day with his toddler son, as he craved their corn on the cob constantly

  8. Get a life, or move to Simi Valley. DJ Bento Box is waiting for you.

  9. I’ll be sad to see the barber shop go & I plan on going there before he leaves, but as far as the others……

    Ralphs – there is a Vons in one direction & a Trader Joe’s in the other
    video store – just use netflix
    pizza place – never ate there, but why would anyone get pizza from anywhere than Follieros
    Baskin Robbins – go to the Pharmacy in South Pasadena for ice cream. You’ll never have that crap again.
    CVS – there is a Rite Aid down the street and also a Walgreens but I’ve been boycotting the place since Pioneer market left (except when i need cash for the quesadilla lady on the corner)
    The chinese place – again, never had it but jesus christ it looks gross. Just go to china town.
    KFC – there is one in echo park w/ a taco bell if you have to clog your arteries.

    I can’t wait for the place to be gone, it’s an eyesore!

    • Really, Chad? Netflix instead of the video store? You know, some people actually would like to see movies when released on DVD, as opposed to waiting 28 days or longer, or watch 7 year old programming. If that works for you, fine, but don’t “force” your preferences on everyone else.

      And the rest of your suggestions? People should drive from Pasadena to Chinatown to “replace” what is there now? Really lame, dude.

      No, I don’t frequent some of the places there at all. Could it be more upscale? Sure. Could there be something there that isn’t so ’70s or ’80s rundown Silverlake? Sure. But the closest Drug Store to the CVS now in either in Hollywood, or Echo Park (i.e., at least 3 miles away), or Glendale. Your flippant comments are just F’en lame.

  10. Chad said: “video store – just use netflix”

    Yeah, just doesn’t quite work when you finally find time/urge to watch a new release. A quick stop @ 20/20 and wine @ TJ’s and you’re done. No waiting in ‘que’ for the latest blu release from netflix (and BTW, 20/20 has new blu releases 1-2 weeks before anyone else), no deciding and waiting a week(s) in advance what you’re gonna watch.

    Netflix costs about $18 a month to ‘rent’ blu rays. I watch maybe 1 or 2 blu ray releases a month at about $3ea ($6 a month) from 20/20, which usually has new releases in stock and I can instantly watch. That’s a $144 difference over 1 year. And again, 20/20 has new releases 1-2 weeks before netflix AND there’s no waiting in ‘que’ (way more common w/blu’s vs. dvd’s).

    Oh, and don’t try to sell me the ‘streaming’ or DVD options. I have a HD projector with a 84″ screen, the difference between Blu rays and everything else is HUGE.

    • I actually hit up Redbox for blu-ray at either 7-Eleven on Hyperion/Rowena or Silver Lake Blvd, or the Walgreens on Sunset/Echo Park. Not to say it will replace the experience of a storefront, but it might soften the blow =)

      • Safe to bet that your rent control apartment helped you afford that HD projector with an 84″ screen and Blu Ray player…

        • The PJ was $1,000, screen was $300, blu player was $180. Anyway, dunno if you had a point regarding your comment??

      • Selection/availability of blu ray titles at Redbox sux compared to 20/20. I might as well just go to video journeys which has a comparable pitiful blu ray selection as Redbox (and is walking distance from me).

  11. And; “Go to S. Pasadena for Ice cream” ?? yeah, that’s convenient.

  12. Hate to say it, but many of the comments here are very uninformed and premature. But that is because they are speaking before they know what is going on. The plan is but a mystery. You cannot presume it will be a better experience. You cannot presume it will be worse.

    But you should be very worried that they are choosing to keep it pretty much a secret. Seems to me that if it were a good plan, they would not be so secretive about it.

    Will this now become a 15-story development, with a Ralphs at ground level? Maybe something like the Ralphs development at Hollywood and Western — but even taller.

    Rest assured, the one thing that is NOT going on is that they are kicking everyone out so as to instead rent to higher grade businesses with more desired conveniences. They certainly are planning to build something — and it surely is something big. Maybe stores at ground level, with 15 stories of housing above? Or???

    I watched the CVS and another supermarket, Farm Fresh, get kicked out of a shopping mall at Sunset and Western — to make way for a big Target store. They kicked them all out — but then the economy collapsed, and the Target has never been built. That place remains vacant now. Perhaps this will be the new Target location instead? Do you prefer a Target store there? Is that a good neighborhood convenience, or would you rather be able to get a hair cut there, and grab some pizza and a video?

    One thing is for sure: the plan is not for neighborhood convenience stores there — as that is what is being kicked out.

    • there hasn’t been a building in the area built that tall since the 60’s. and that building is on sunset blvd. in echo park. i think it’s a safe bet a 15 story(or taller!!!!) building is not what is planned here. way too much panic. the developer obvs wants to keep the plans under wraps until they are finalized, not to keep you up at night wondering about the end of life as we know it.

  13. Ralph’s is fine and all, if a tad overpriced, but not as bad as Gelsons for many of the same products, and you can actually park there – unlike Trader Joe’s and Gelsons. I prefer other stores, but it serves its purpose just fine.
    The only spot in that plaza really worth anything is Tony’s Barbershop. Tony is a great guy and will definitely be missed.
    That awful “Chinese” outhouse should have closed many times over. Panda Express is a thousand times better – and cleaner.
    And I must agree with Martin. There’s a sketchy element there that’s been allowed to fester for some reason. Maybe it’s from the 24 hour CVS, maybe it’s being able to get fresh Winchell’s donuts at 3am, maybe it IS the security guards running a small drug ring. I don’t know. If getting rid of that is a “sad result” of gentrification, so be it. No complaints here, other than losing Tony’s.

  14. Yes, we won’t know till it’s announced or built. AND yes, unfortunately we won’t have a say about any of it either way. Our best hope is that LABDS keeps it from being a monstrosity and that the developers choose a architect with some aesthetic values. I hope to heaven they don’t plant a superstore their like Target. [email protected] is already a nightmare. Not sure if 15 stories is even doable but then again they just took that area out of ‘hillside ordinance’ so maybe, maybe…

    Diane E – If you have any suggestions on how our neighborhood councils might be able to effectively influence what’s done here I’d love to hear it, and be more than willing to help.

    • We have a lot of big developments coing to Silver Lake – 300 units to Sunset Junction, lots of projects near Ivanhoe Elementary, possibly something here at Raph’s shopping center.

      If you live in one of these neighborhoods, you should check out the SLNC website and contact your NC rep and ask how you can help organize your neighborhood.

      The SLNC needs to work up an effective database of willing organizers in key neighborhoods. If you’re on the SLNC board, you need to work with the UD&PAC committee each month to help get the word out in whichever neighborhood has pending issues. Don’t just leave it up to the UD&PAC to do all the legwork. If you actually walk the neighborhood, you will see the issues first hand.

      While email, social media & blogs are important tools for activists, there is no substitute for old-fashioned face to face, door to door community organizing. Oh yeah, and there’s this radical thing called a phone.

      I got my start 20 years ago because someone from another part of my neighborhood (who cared enough to reach out to my street), knocked on my door asking me to sign a petition to oppose a 40-unit apartment building from being built on my street. We won that battle – without the use of email and cellphones.

  15. I heard that it is going to be mixed use commercial/residential with underground parking and that the entire site is to be demoed.

  16. Talk to Tony in the barber shop. He’ll give you the latest scoop / rumors. The last I heard from him it was what skr said – everything would be demo’ed, underground parking put in, and a new Ralph’s constructed plus some housing. But who knows? Anyone know a real estate agent that can dig into this? They might have the inside scoop?

  17. From la.curbed article above: ‘It’s Ralphs manager Darren Evans who seems to know the real deal. He tells us there’s a remodel planned for his store in July, though it’s not confirmed. The grocery store would see both interior and exterior changes, and it could possibly expand to take over the nearby CVS. The DVD store, Roundtable Pizza, and Baskin-Robbins are all between Ralphs and the drugstore, so they’d likely be taken out in that expansion. So, sorry Silver Lakers, it looks like you’ll probably still have to drive to Glendale or Fairfax for an artificial shopping village experience. Or does someone know something different?’

  18. The congestion there is so bad it is just going to make matters worse this city needs real public transpo!

  19. I love all this speculation. All the wishing and hoping about a more gentrified upscale stripmall won’t make it happen. It’s always promised, but never materializes. Look around the neighborhood at the existing ones, from Beverly to Rowena.

  20. Word through the grapevine is that it’s gonna be a huge blockbuster video. That’s why they closed the Los Feliz location.

    • Man, your sources must be full of it. Blockbuster is in bankruptcy and will probably close down all of its remaining stores. It has already closed or in the process of closing all the stores within a good 6 miles radius.

      The reason the closed the Los Feliz location is the same as the reason they’ve been closing all the other stores (6 stores within 5 miles I think), they went bankrupt!

      The nearest blockbuster still open will be the one on La Brea/Wilshire. There is NO way they will open a blockbuster at the Ralph’s location, no more than a Circuit City would open.

      • Blockbuster was bought by Dish last year, so they’re no longer bankrupt. However, as fleaman points out, a new Blockbuster opening there is as likely as a Circuit City or K Mart opening there.

  21. No way!

    It’s supposed to be a pinkberry flagship mall!
    They are going to redevelop the whole place to be the intentional gathering of yogurt heads! No more tables and stools. Just couches and ottoman, so you can lay around and eat pinkberry 24 hours a day.

    They’re even going to cash your work check, so you could use it at their facility. But only half the check, so you have money left for the rest of the family!

  22. @Amanda: Then the rumor I heard about it being a 24-hour Home Depot must not be true. Part of me is disappointed, but the other part of me really likes yogurt!!! So it will work out great after all.

  23. I live across the street. I welcome the new. I call it the ghetto Ralphs too. ha

  24. If it turns into the franchise strip mall likeness of the costco/best buy lot, I might lust on the memories of Ghetto Ralph’s actually, rather than feel like I’ve been transported to Simi Valley.

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