The Angelene, formerly known as the La Brea Gateway project, has announced that a Sprouts Farmers Market store will open on its ground floor in January 2016. The mixed-use development project will also be home to a 179-unit apartment complex, and will provide parking for its residents and Sprouts’ shoppers.
Located at the corner of La Brea and Willoughby avenues, the Angelene has 35,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, and has plans for up to five stories at varying points throughout the building. Parking will include 133 spots for Sprouts on or above grade; all residential Angelene parking will be underground. Ten percent of the units in the apartment complex will be offered as affordable housing.
Sprouts is offering a range of employment opportunities at the new location, including bakery manager, meat clerk and grocery manager positions.
Peter Nichols, founder of the Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch, said he is “thrilled” a Sprouts Farmers Market is coming to the area, adding it is greatly needed.
“There isn’t enough competition in upscale lifestyle-oriented markets around here. Whole Foods has a lock on it in this area, otherwise we just have a couple of Ralphs [grocery stores]. I think it’s better for our neighborhood and hope it will result in better prices,” Nichols said.
The neighborhood corner has been the center of controversy in the past, after KCOP moved out in 2003. A development company, Bomel, originally purchased the land, but it remained vacant for years while the project moved through the city’s approval process. Adding further delays, neighboring residents filed a lawsuit to reduce the height of the proposed seven-story building. A settlement was reached in 2011, and soon after Bomel sold the space.
According to Paul Neuman, press deputy for City Councilman Paul Koretz, 5th District, all disputes have been settled, and Holland Partner Group has held meetings with neighborhood members to ensure all requested stipulations have been met. He said mostly residential areas surround the building with some low-density multi-family units to the south. Three other developments are also new to the area, anticipating more than 1,000 new residential units will be created.
Thomas Warren, COO of development at Holland Partner Group in southern California, noted extensive dialogue with the neighborhood as the project was working through approvals.
“We are very pleased to be delivering the Sprouts. We always look for retail tenants that provide amenities for our residents and for the neighborhood, and this seems to be a great fit,” Warren said.
The Angelene building will add a positive element to the neighborhood, according to Nichols, and will be a conduit for improvement and upgrade in the area. While some community members voiced concern over traffic congestion in the area, he said it would likely have little impact and is worth the inconvenience.
“That corner was horrendously blighted for many years, the building used to be filthy and filled with many illegal activities. This is a huge turnaround,” Nichols said.
And who is going to move into this complex with the greater west hollywood food coalition line just yards from this new complex? Have you tried walking around lately?
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This will be a muh needed shot in the arm for our area. Hooray! Now it would be great to get rid of that disgusting auto shop across from this new complex, as well as the heinous 99 cent store just across the street. Any plans to do so?