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Groundwork Begins for Vons Shopping Center

A 17,700-square-foot multi-tenant shopping center on Figueroa and La Loma is scheduled to open by Thanksgiving.

As many Eagle Rockers have noticed amid not a little head scratching, a major construction project is underway on the sprawling property where the Vons supermarket is located on the neighborhood’s eastern edge bordering Highland Park and Pasadena.

The construction is part of a Vons shopping center—on property acquired by Vons a few years ago—on the intersection of North Figueroa Street and La Loma Drive, a stone’s throw from East Colorado Boulevard.

Groundwork for the shopping center, replete with heavy machinery tearing up the ground, began this past week on Jan. 28, according to Carlos Illingworth, director of public affairs and government relations for Vons.

The project was initially scheduled to start in 2011, as many Eagle Rockers might remember, but was put on hold, Illingworth confirmed. The construction is being handled by Property Development Centers, a shopping center developer that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Von’s parent company Safeway, Illingworth said.

The proposed shopping center has two components. The first includes approximately 14,500 square feet of shops stretching downward from the southwestern corner of Figueroa and La Loma, along a section of the property where a wall currently marks the periphery of the Vons parking lot. (See photos.)

The second part of the Vons shopping center includes a 3,200-square-foot “multi-tenant pad building” that will be located on the southeastern corner of La Loma, directly to the right of the supermarket. The building will be designed to accommodate multiple business tenants separately from the anchor tenant, Illingworth explained.

The entire parking lot facing Vons on 7311 N. Figueroa St. will be leveled, remade and merged with the planned buildings, Illingworth said. An alley that currently leads from the parking lot to La Loma, as the photos above show, will disappear.

“Our freestanding store will be transformed into a neighborhood shopping center,” Illingworth said, adding that while he cannot disclose the project’s cost, “it's a significant investment and one that we are very happy to make.”

Vons is negotiating with potential tenants whose names the company cannot disclose at this time, Illingworth said. “Potential types of tenants include a bank, coffee shop and restaurants,” he said.

“We have strong interest from a variety of retail and service-type [businesses] that we believe will serve the community well, Dave Zylstra, chief operating officer of Property Development Centers, told Patch. 

Major construction is expected to be completed in August and “we look forward to a grand opening by Thanksgiving of this year,” Zylstra said.

Click here for more information about the Vons shopping center, including availability for leasing.

John Goldfarb February 07, 2013 at 01:02 AM
WTF, dude!
Jane Demian February 07, 2013 at 01:57 AM
That whole block could use some sprucing up. Would like to see a restaurant that serves healthy food, a coffee house where people could meet and chat, maybe even a book store (do people even go to bookstores anymore? I do.) With McDonald's on the adjacent corner, there's plenty of bad food to be had. Better to bring some healthful living into the area.
Marjorie Balce February 07, 2013 at 02:39 AM
How many businesses will be located on that plaza by Vons? I think also that Vons needs to level the parking lot of the main location too. You gotta really hold on to your cart or it'll roll down the parking lot! Also, I have been in the Vons located in Pasadena (on Colorado Blvd.) by the Feddes furniture place and that Vons is really nice, space to move in the ailes and they have 2 sizes of carts you can choose from. The ER Vons also needs to update their bakery and deli area. It's a bit small and boring. I don't think that the homeless will leave that Vons area. They are living by the CVS and that stupid bus resting station is in the wrong spot. So many times I have seen it so difficult to get out of that part of the exit with the big bus on the right side. Not a safe place to pass and the lane is tight too!! I hope that the businesses that will be there will a give ER better options to go to and keep our business here not other places.
rebecca niederlander February 07, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Doesn't anyone else think it odd that Von's is able to go ahead and do buildout without any community input? How did they get permits to move forward without any check-ins?
jayres February 07, 2013 at 07:54 AM
There was community input. According to the Boulevard Sentinel this was an issue that went through all proper local and city protocols from 2003 to Nov 2010. Here is the link: http://www.boulevardsentinel.com/11-2010.htm According to Meeting Minutes from Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council: The ERNC Land Use commitee recommended approval of Vons expansion and the closing off of the alley that runs parallel to La Loma from Geneveive into the Vons parking lot. The full ER council voted unanimously to allow Vons to vacate the easement and sent a letter of support to the LA Dept of Planning. Here is a link to the council meeting minutes from Nov 2 2010. (scroll down to bottom of page 4) https://docs.google.com/file/d/1IXPBr0HkgQFu4T7MK4ALm8D6TSWnAeYi6H3-M_AaLz9WGCLLmvKx5aBLnLgY/edit
Mike Woodward February 07, 2013 at 04:08 PM
The exterior lighting at Von's is now extremely bright, not shrouded and apparently designed by the good folks who gave us the yard at Folsom Prison. It is a blight on the surrounding residential area. I can only assume that the new construction will bring us more of the same. I understand that the lights are there to reduce crime, in spite of the lack of any statistical correlation between intense lighting and crime reduction. However, I see no reason for Von's to light up the neighborhood for blocks around to limit its own liability for crimes committed on its property. Are they expecting criminals to parachute into their parking lot? Commercial entities moving into what is primarily a residential area should show some sensitivity to the surrounding area. Von's record to this point leads me to believe that this is unlikely to occur with their new construction.
Alex White February 07, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Actually, no WTF, dude! or ants in the pants rant-- rather, talk about dripping with Joycean sarcasm. (Hint: See 7-11 & MMD stories) Ok, so I was also a little bored.
Alex White February 07, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Lol with the parachute analogy. I saw it right away. Tatted up OG's in wife beaters and white socks up to their knees bending for the soft landing-- Gat in hand. The 103 lb. girl in the orange vest sent to collect the shopping carts scattered throughout the lot hunkering down for cover behind an black Escalade SUV blaring Mexi-Rap out the open windows. Concerned mothers grabbing children and scurrying for the safety of the nearest door.
Charles Serio February 07, 2013 at 05:40 PM
No mention of upgrades within the supermarket..Von's is hopelessly outdated as a supermarket an should be torn down and rebuilt. The deli section is of poor quality and meat and vegetables of limited variety. Too much frozen foods and much redundancy on the shelves. The aisles are not only tiny but they have product displays in the middle making it difficult for the shopping carts. The fish offerings are of poor quality and this section should be removed as an embarrassment. What is Von's offering the community poor quality meats/vegetables and now incredible traffic ingestion. The McDonalds already causes traffic to be backed onto Figueroa what will happen the Von's project is completed.it is already difficult to exit onto Figueroa what will happen with this increased traffic volume - major gridlock/congestion! With the homeless, panderers Pelion circulatory this will truly become Von's ghetto corner.
STARCHY February 07, 2013 at 05:48 PM
if you want to get rid of bums and panhandlers, get rid of the "pay for cans" stand. and of course get rid of the ALMA LODGE !!!!
STARCHY February 07, 2013 at 05:50 PM
as for the center itself, I'm betting that we will get a long blank wall facing the McDonalds. Perfect for the primitive scratchings of taggers!! thanks Joey Weezer, GOOD JOB !!!
John Goldfarb February 07, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Thank you, Starchy, for reminding me to remind Patch readers to report not only abandoned Von's shopping carts (800-252-4613), but also graffiti, either by calling 311 or by going to http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm. I do it all the time and never wait more than 2 days for it to be cleared up.
Patricia Duran February 07, 2013 at 07:55 PM
I like the idea of a dog park n/o 134 on Figueroa. The cash for cans thing needs to go and urge the planners and landowner to select consciously about the new tenants for this area. Fast food is not the only option. The idea, for me, is to beautify not just a quick fix selection of the kind of retail Eagle Rock needs to uplift the community and create a safe domain - an area we can be proud of.
OmarA. G February 07, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Yup, the last thing I want it to turn into is what the Super A/CVS shopping center on Eagle Rock Blvd. is. An eye sore to the community, I would not put too much responsibility on Vons/Development co. to take it's customers into consideration since for years I've been solicited on the way in, while I'm paying for some donation and on the way out. I'm all for charity and a good cause but it get's old when it's every time you go there, again Ralph's in old town seems like such a good alternative every time I opt to shop there instead.
rebecca niederlander February 07, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Thanks Jayres!
Jimmy Iaei February 08, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Why is it that people want to foist their interests on the majority who could care less? People go to McDonalds because they like it - it wouldn't make money if they didn't. Book store? How many people even read anymore (book store is a dinosaur that sadly is passing into extinction). But you can't force people to operate a business that will make no money. Too many foo foo coffee shops already - but I'm Ok if they can open one that makes money. Is Eagle Rock totally populated by dreamers who think everyone rides bikes, drinks lattes, wants dog parks paid for those who work and would never use them, like a bunch of lotus eaters in the Elysian Fields? I have no problem with these activities, but also there are also people who like Von's, eat at McDonalds, drive cars, and have dogs in their backyards and are content with that. The big city is full of cars, ugly buildings, people, noise, people making money and working, and people living in homes unconcerned with some of these silly ideas. If you want see only your version of beauty and peace the big city is not for you.
rebecca niederlander February 08, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Do you think our property values and quality of life have improved and redfin listed our neighborhood as one of the top ten most desirable areas because everyone has an attitude like yours? NO. Only by thinking big and better and working hard to make our community more interesting do we all grow. It is fine if you don't want to work to envision a higher quality of expectations, but please don't diss those who aspire for more.
Scott Martin-Rowe February 08, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Nice James Joyce reference! Write your next comment in the form of a play.
Patricia Duran February 08, 2013 at 06:19 PM
It's not an either/or decision. I feel fortunate to live in Eagle Rock because of it's beauty and community. It is personal for me where I live. I take pride in what surrounds me and enhances my will to make my life peaceful and loving AND I drive a car! Phew, what a concept.
Jimmy Iaei February 08, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Rebecca - Such an intolent response from a typical NIMBY. It's nice to think that we could exist without gas stations, markets, and even McDonalds. Live life without a job just idly passing the time drinking latte's and reading Facebook. But to those of us who make it possible for you to live that it's a little different. I have lived in Eagle Rock a lot longer than you, and such have a longer view. Plus my definition of better is different of yours so stop being such a hater. Since I benefitted from TERA's victory in getting the McDonalds built here not next their precious Hill Drive, and live close to Von's I will agree that is is another ugly crackerbox strip center. But business is part of creating job's albeit not high paying. But a vegetarian donut shop or a nursery is not going to pay more than a nail salon.
rebecca niederlander February 09, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Jimmy, please, do point out the exact places in which I am a hater and a NIMBY. My intention is simply to say that we all have ideals for our neighborhood and all attitudes are welcome. It is what makes ER such an amazing place. And how do you know how long I've been here, whether or not I shop at the Von's, use the McDonald's or drive a car?
Bob Bailey February 27, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Don't need a coffee house to many already. A book store really. We didn't support the two we had! Remember when the Eagle Rock plaza opened two book stores You think they will open another! Good grief Charlie Brown open your eye’s. Yes we do need a good eatery.
Where the Sidewalk Ends February 27, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Another good dog park spot would be where the power lines run between colorado and la loma, behind the Torres Construction building. Lots of empty space where buildings can't go anyway. May as well use it for something. The dog park in redondo beach is located under a power line area too.
Bill Johnson March 24, 2013 at 07:13 AM
I'm thrilled to see a new development in the area... and a good coffeehouse would be welcome, cause there is no good coffee between Swork and Pasadena. Now, if only someone would do something about that God awful 99c Store shopping center on York.
John Goldfarb March 24, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Bill, I'm also looking forward to the development and have great hope that the stores and cafes or restaurants enhance the neighborhood. As for there being no good coffee in E.R. besides Swork's, I've never been disappointed in The Coffee Table (and have no connection to it other than as a customer).
Bill Johnson March 25, 2013 at 01:35 AM
Oh, yeah. Forgot about Coffee Table. It's pretty good.
rebecca niederlander March 25, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Bill, try Little Flower Cafe on Colorado at Avenue 64. A great place all around and about two blocks east of Fig.
Photola April 23, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Does anyone know what is going into the shopping center?
Ed July 11, 2013 at 01:39 AM
At this point, I believe it would make more sense if the big signs that say Vons is Open DURING CONSTRUCTION were changed to "Vons is Open" since construction stopped on the project quite a while ago. I don't know which is a bigger eyesore, the unfinished construction project that no one works on, or the empty lot that was overgrown with weeds and surrounded by homeless people.
Photola July 13, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Does anybody know what is happening at the Vons construction site. It seems that the construction has stopped for the past 2 months. I just would hate to see another unfinished project. I would rather have it finished then sit for a couple of years.

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