Don’t worry, Silver Lake – Whole Foods is still coming

Whole Foods will be moving into a Silver Lake shopping center that is now home to a Ralphs market and CVS Pharmacy

SILVER LAKE — Every few weeks The Eastsider gets asked  if  Whole Foods is still planning to open up in Silver Lake.  The high-end supermarket chain announced in May 2013 that it would be moving into the Glendale Boulevard shopping center now occupied by Ralphs, with officials initially projecting a 2014 opening before pushing the date back  to sometime in 2015.  But that has not kept some Silver Lake residents from fretting. 

A Silver Lake man  said he recently heard rumors about the chain backing out of the deal, which would be a setback since he thought having a Whole Foods nearby would make his home more attractive to  potential buyers.

“I own a condo not far from there and I think a Whole Foods would help me sell,”  he said.

But Whole Foods has not backed away from the deal,  says Andi Dowda, a regional marketing coordinator for Whole Foods.  Dowda, in an email sent last week, did not offer an opening date but said the company remains committed to opening in Silver Lake.

“We have a few stores ahead of the Silver Lake location, and it is on the books,” said Dowda.

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  1. Am I the only one who doesn’t care or want Whole Foods to move in? Probably… but just thought I’d ask.

    • No you are not the only one. I dont want a Whole Foods. Why cant Ralphs get a make over?

      • Aldo Thee Apache

        Because they only cater to the lowest common denominator, whom they despise and won’t spend a dime on. It shows in their sh*tty selection and lack of cleanliness. That’s why Trader Joes, Fresh and Easy, Whole Foods etc. are killing them.

        • If you think Ralphs is only catering to the lowest common denominator you live a sheltered life. I can’t afford to shop at Ralphs.

          Apologies in advance for not being rich enough for you.

          • Aldo Thee Apache

            Sad story bro. You can still dream one day of shopping at Ralphs. Sorry I crushed your dreams and stepped all over your self righteousness and fake indignation.

      • I’ll be sorry to see the Ralph’s go. It may not be great, but I like it a lot better than the Von’s further south on Alvarado. I mostly shop at Trader Joe’s, but the Ralph’s (and CVS) have been my “go-to” places when I need a regular grocery store. I very rarely shop at Whole Paycheck.

      • I have a theory on this that I wanted to see if anyone else has more information on.

        There has been a lot of churn in supermarket locations in the area recently. Vons gave up a location in La Canada, and they remodeled, and then re-re-modeled, their location on Fig and Colorado. Not to mention the Fresh and Easy debacle, and the Trader Joes renovations.

        My idea is that supermarket chains are partly in the real estate and shopping center business now. Maybe they see Wal-Mart and Amazon coming and they’re trying to diversify from the thin margins of groceries. The consequence is that they are pulling out of properties that they don’t own, and re-developing properties that they do own into shopping centers.

        For instance, regarding Ralphs/Kroger: http://looplink.krogerrealestate.com/looplink/krogershopping/searchresultsnew.aspx?SearchType=FSFL&name=krogershopping

        This seems to have only Kroger (east of the Rockies). The relevant Vons/Safeway site is: http://pdasurplus.com/about-pda/.

        This could explain the Ralphs pulling out: they didn’t own that shopping center, and for some reason didn’t/couldn’t buy it.

        • To my novice mind, that makes a lot of sense. The land these market sit on in a re-urbanizing and income stratified future is potentially quite a valuable asset.

        • Aldo Thee Apache

          @pretty whiny

          Both TJs and Whole Foods do the same to some degree. Both only put locations down where they can buy the property. Would make stability sense given commercial property isn’t rent controlled and they operate on small margins.
          The Walgreens in EP bought that entire property and are renting the next door space to Lassens.

    • I don’t love Whole Foods either and rarely shop there, but that Ralphs is horrible. There selection of organic produce is so minimal it makes me think there in bed with the Monsantos of the world. Good riddance to that horrible place.

  2. Does anyone know if the “Whole Foods effect” of raising property value offsets the “Airbnb effect” of lowering property values due to high turnover multi-unit short-term rentals.

    • Is there any actual evidence that airbnbs lower property values? They seem to be the best maintained and furnished multifamily properties on the block – this improvement alone seems to actually support higher values.

      • AirBNB turns residences into hotels.
        Long term renters or owners have an incentive to be neighborly.
        Hotel guests do not have those incentives.

        AirBNB lowered the value of my parents rental units in their home in Brooklyn.

        The constant turn over of the tourists staying in the unit next to my parents multi-unit house resulted in both tenants demanding lower rates on their renewals due to the noise and smoking from the air bnb “guests” who constantly turn over in the house next to theirs.

      • Home buyers do not want to buy on blocks where short term rentals are operated. Airbnb rentals negatively impact neighborhood safety/security, parking, and detract from the overall quality of neighborhood life. That all has the cumulative effect of lowering property value. Ask realtors who are trying to sell homes on blocks with short term rentals. They know that airbnb lowers property value.

        • While what you are describing seems plausible in general, your statement makes this seem as though it is a rule… the people who I know that use air bnb don’t fit the description you provide. I can’t help but feel you are making broad sweeping generalizations about something that likely happens a fraction of the time. I’m a home owner and think we have bigger fish to fry than what may happen at a short-term rental.

        • It makes sense the airBNB would lower property values. If I were choosing between two properties where one was next to short term rentals and the other was not, then I would choose the one surrounded by owners or long term renters.

        • If you choose to take a broader view of the new p2p economy you may find many more unintended consequences that have broader impact than negative valuation of homes on blocks situated next to short-term rentals. What’s going on is a broader predatory, opportunistic exploitation of short-term selfish utility maximizers at the expense of longer-term societal value.

          • “What’s going on is a broader predatory, opportunistic exploitation of short-term selfish utility maximizers at the expense of longer-term societal value.”

            Would you mind providing an example? I’m trying to understand where you are coming from and am not seeing it.

  3. As long as they hire local residents AND pay a good wage- I don’t care what goes there

  4. While availability of reasonably-priced groceries is a concern, I am looking forward to Whole Foods moving in. They will be wildly successful because there are a lot of people in Silver Lake who want to shop there. It will be a nice alternative to Gelsons.

  5. Any hope for the Lassens deal to fall through, and a Trader Joe’s opening next to Walgreens instead? It’s always a crowded frenzy in the parking lot and inside the store at the TJ’s in Silver Lake, and I’d rather walk to one in Echo Park. Lassens would be a no-go for their Prop 8 support.

    • As far as I’m concerned, Walgreens is a no-go due to their tax-dodging “inversion” plans.


    • When one of the Lassen owners made a personal donation requested by his church, it was in the first days of the prop 8 campaign. It was back when President Obama was against gay marriage. People grow and change. Lassen has said he wouldn’t do it again. Can we stop hating people who have grown and changed and celebrate the change and the new support!

      • June, could you please provide a source for your statement that one of the Lassens owners has apologized for his donation to Prop 8? Of course I welcome people who grow and change, and would be willing to reconsider shopping there if the apology were genuine, and perhaps some kind of amends made.

        I don’t know where you get the idea that a boycott=hate. It’s a nonviolent way to get people or corporations to change their ways. I would associate hate, or at least bigotry, more with an inequality-affirming measure like Prop 8.

  6. I’m not much of a Whole Foods shopper, but if it will take some pressure off the SilverLake Trader Joe’s – count me in!

    • Pretty funny……..which is why I do most of my shopping at Costco! Great store, excellent products and they treat their employees very well!

  7. Please let the Prop 8 stuff go…we get it. Lassens does a very nice job and it’s okay to have differing opinions (psst…it’s not a civil rights issue). Ralphs Fresh Faire would be great.

    • Psst…Greg….same-sex marriage is indeed a civil rights issue,

    • Greg: With talk like that, you probably donated to Prop 8 as well. People should vote with their feet (or with their wallets). If Lassens apologized and also donated the same amount to a pro same sex marriage cause, then I would accept that they have changed. Otherwise, forget Lassens.

  8. Eff Whole Foods

  9. Oh yah, Good ol’ “whole paycheck” ……I’ll stick with our many Farmers Markets,which, the expanded Echo Park is great on friday nights!, and Vons….at least they try!

  10. Tony the main spoon

    Still waiting for the Pioneer Market get rebooted. Farmers markets are the best, the goat and lamb are my favorite, next to all if the greens in season.

  11. Tony the main spoon

    With mistakes 🙂

  12. We have TJ’s, Gelson’s and several Farm Markets in the area a Whole Foods is the last thing we need! We are getting priced out of eating… oh well it will be good for the diet.

  13. Airbnb properties do not lower the values of the homes around them. If this were really true, you would be able to produce facts and figures instead of heresy from your “realtor friend.” All of the Airbnb places in my neighborhood are the best looking and most well maintained properties in the area. It’s the out of state landlords that let their properties get run down, people that rent to know gang members, older home owners who can no longer afford to maintain their properties etc that lower property values.
    If it weren’t for the tourist dollars brought in to Silver Lake and Echo Park by Airbnb, I doubt half of the boutiques and restaurant would have survived the last few years. The next time you are having your $6 latte and $5 galette, you can thank Airbnb for keeping that place in business.

    • No!! Isn’t Walter White cranking out the blue crystal meth in the kitchen’s of airbnb Silver Lake rentals? Are not his tweakers selling it to to the kids and their parents in front of the Ivanhoe School? Is not his camper parked on Silver Lake Drive as we speak? Are we not to believe the Silver Lake Homeowners Non-Association and their sycophantic realtors?

  14. airbnb paranoids of silver lake: knock yourselves out! Is your property listed on airbnb without your permission? http://www.huntbnb.com/

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