Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. made a late-night announcement Wednesday that after community uproar, the city will not use eminent domain to take the property where Vons grocery store is located.
“The City Council and I understand that any construction on the Vons site would be disruptive to businesses, residents, and employees. We have identified an alternative location for the MSF building. To put it succinctly, we heard you.” – James T. Butts
City consultants released the Draft Business Relocation Plan on Feb. 1 which identified that nearly 50 businesses would be disrupted due to the Inglewood Transit Connector Project.
The backlash was swift once it was announced in the Los Angeles Wave newspaper and on the 2UrbanGirls site Feb. 10 that the project would impact close to 500 part-time and full-time employees with the bulk of the job losses occurring at the Vons site.
Related: Inglewood residents react over businesses impacted by transit project
The original plans called for the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) to be located at Kelso Elementary School. Those plans were scrapped when the transit stop planned for Prairie and Pincay was moved to the corner of Manchester and Prairie.
Consultants then came up with a plan to co-locate the MSF at the Vons site which would require the existing store to be torn down and rebuilt. The loss would have impacted the residents in the immediate area, including hundreds of senior citizens who live within walking distance of the store.
During the March 14 regular city council meeting, lead consultant, Lisa Trifiletti, explained that because of the uproar they were seeking an alternative location for the MSF to not disrupt Vons.
Trifilietti then scheduled two Community Open House meetings where the topic was the future of Vons. The first meeting was held today, March 29.
Mayor Butts announced tonight that the city will relocate the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) to the transit stop planned at Florence and Market Street.
Another open house is scheduled for Monday, Apr. 3 at Inglewood City Hall in Community Room A from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
A scheduled Public Hearing will take place on Tuesday, Apr. 4 at 2 p.m. to discuss the Draft Business Relocation Plan that will still displace over 40 small businesses that are located along the proposed transit route.
City Hall council chambers have reopened to the public and if needed residents can gather in the Main Library Lecture Hall to give public comment during the regular city council meeting which will begin at 2 p.m.
Emilie St. John is a contributing writer for 2UrbanGirls.com and the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.