Friday, July 11, 2008

'Food Desert' Neighborhoods and Southern California: More on the Fresh & Easy Store Planned For South Central Los Angeles

On July 2 we reported in this piece that Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA will build a brand new small-format (about 13,000 square feet) Fresh & Easy grocery store in the low-income, "food desert" South Central Los Angeles area.

That Fresh & Easy grocery market will be the ground floor retail anchor of a new 80 unit affordable housing apartment development at 1011 East Adams @ Central Street in South central Los Angeles, which is set to be completed in 2010. The multi-level apartments will sit above 19,000 of ground floor retail space, which the Fresh & Easy store will take up about 13,000 square feet of. (As you can see, Tesco isn't afraid to plan ahead with its Fresh & Easy stores.)

The ground breaking for the new affordable housing development with the Fresh & Easy grocery store on the ground floor is Monday, July 14 at 10am. Tesco Fresh & Easy CEO Tim mason will attend, along with representatives from the development company, the bank financing the project, and numerous city elected officials and other dignitaries. IT will be a major event.

This is the second major housing project that includes a supermarket for the low-income, long-neglected "food desert" South Central district of Los Angeles. Just a few blocks north of this affordable housing project which will contain the Fresh & Easy store on the ground floor, another developer is building an affordable housing mixed use residential and retail development at 2000 South Central.

That development, which includes a supermarket as the ground floor retail anchor, includes more than twice as much retail square footage as the Fresh & Easy project. It will have 85 apartments built on top of about 45,000 square feet of retail space. All of the apartments, as is the case with the Fresh & Easy development, will be targeted to low-income neighborhood residents.

It appears some fresh fruits, veggies and other delights in the form of retail food stores that offer basic groceries and fresh foods at reasonable prices are beginning to bloom in the historic "food desert" neighborhoods of Southern Central Los Angeles, where there are no shortage of convenience stores and fast foods joints, but few stores where quality fresh foods and groceries can be purchased at decent prices.

Dakota, who writes for the blog Curbed Los Angeles, has a well-written piece today in the blog about the South Central affordable housing project which will have the Fresh & Easy grocery market as its ground floor retail anchor.

Read Dakota's piece in today's Curbed Los Angeles blog here. The artist's rendering of the residential development that will have a Fresh & Easy grocery store on the ground floor is pictured at the top of this story.

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