Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Digging up Dirt on La Brea and 4th Development

The earth-moving machines have been busy at the corner of La Brea and 4th the past few weeks, grading the large lot where the former Chrysler Jeep dealership once stood. Rumor has it that an Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) is going in on the site, but digging up any real confirmation or detailed plans on it have been almost impossible.

The lot(s) at 415 S La Brea, which reaches from Liz’s Antique Hardware on the south up to and across 4th St. on the north, has had a commercial use permit for new retail structure on the books at LA’s Department of Building and Safety. It appears the building will be one story with parking on the roof and  a “nursery area (43’x73′) only allow for nursery, flower or plant.”

When the Buzz visited the La Brea site late last week we met Adam Perry from the hyper-busy-in-Hollywood development firm CIM Group who would not and “could not comment” as we stood there in the dirt watching the work move forward. Perry referred us to CIM’s outside PR firm, where we received a firm and not forthcoming response from Karen Diehl of Casey Sayre PR”…it is CIM’s longstanding policy to not comment on its plans until finalized.”

In the end and after a bit of digging herself, Renee Weitzer, Chief of Land Use and Planning for Council District 4, confirmed that ” Orchard Hardware and Nursery will be going in there. Apparently the zone, which is retail commercial, allows this use.” The Buzz also contacted OSH corporate headquarters in Northern California but could not get confirmation of a future OSH on La Brea Ave.

In looking through the OSH website,  however, we notice they are now using an “innovative neighborhood store” format.  “The new stores that Orchard is opening and the existing locations it is upgrading are expected to help the company take advantage of the “white space” between small, independently owned hardware stores and big box home-improvement stores. By the end of 2012, Orchard plans to have 12 stores operating in its new, productive neighborhood store format.” While this is pure conjecture on our part, this could well be the plan for LaBrea and 4th, a smaller-sized hardware store with nursery.

La Brea Ave has seen a surge of development both in residential complexes up and down the avenue, and street-friendly retail like District LaBrea at 1st which is making the street more pedestrian friendly and busy. Since the community and even CD 4 has had no input on the development, we can only hope that whatever does go into La Brea at 4th is oriented toward making La Brea more livable. Certainly, a ground-level plant nursery and a neighborhood hardware store would be appreciated by many, while a big-box home improvement store with laborers looking for construction work, would not be ideal for the community.

We can only hope that CIM will soon come clean and share plans with, and get input from, the community. Otherwise it just feels like we’re digging up dirt, while CIM digs in the dirt.

What do you think? Contribute your thoughts in our Comment section below.

Editors’ NOTE: October 17 2012 OSH corporate confirmed with the Larchmont Buzz today that they do have plans to put a full-size OSH hardware store on the site and that a nursery will be one component of the facility. They could not share specific plans as the development is still working its way through the system and may not be fully approved yet.

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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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  1. Did you hear if the OSH will be on both sides of 4th St? I am concerned about the possibility of laborers on the street and where they will use restrooms while trying to get jobs. I hope OSH does something to mitigate the impact of the laborers on the sidewalk itself – it always gets dirty where they hang out and on the surrounding neighborhood. It is in Tom La Bonge’s district and if you have never seen an old time politician before you should see this guy – not likely to stand up to protect the neighborhood versus’ a developers deep and generous pockets – but if there is a new manhole to be installed he will be there for the photo opportunity.


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