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COMMUNITY NEWS: SOUTH

SOUTH-CENTRAL : Approval to Build Supermarket Sought

June 13, 1993|ELSTON CARR

The Food 4 Less Corp. and Bakewell Development have agreed to seek approval from the city Community Redevelopment Agency to build an Alpha Beta supermarket at Adams Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.

Redevelopment agency spokesman Chuck Sifuentes said the agency's board of directors will decide Thursday whether to grant Food 4 Less and Brotherhood Crusade President Danny Bakewell the exclusive negotiating rights for the project. Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas said he expects the CRA to approve the proposal.

Bakewell confirmed the agreement between Food 4 Less and Bakewell Development, his private company. As a minority developer in the project, Bakewell said, the construction and the market will create jobs for the community. "Everyone will profit from this project," he said.

Bakewell, who began negotiations with The Boys in 1984, said he stands to make about a 7% to 8% profit from the project. The CRA has estimated the project will cost about $9 million.

Representatives of Food 4 Less, which owns The Boys markets, could not be reached for comment.

Ridley-Thomas, who recently was accused by some area residents of failing to speed construction of the supermarket, said the agreement between Bakewell and Food 4 Less confirms the project is moving ahead.

"The criticism was ill-informed and unwarranted," Ridley-Thomas said. "I can understand the impatience, but only constructive debate will result in our being able to build a market in a credible way."

After years of pushing for construction of the market, Father Bill Delaney, of the Southern California Organizing Committee, an ecumenical community group, complained that Ridley-Thomas has not kept the committee informed on the status of the project.

"I just find it kind of strange that all of this has been done in a back-room deal," Delaney said. "We are willing to work with anybody to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. We just would have liked to have everything put in the open."

Ridley-Thomas countered that the committee has tried to dominate community involvement in the campaign to build the market. "SCOC is not the only group in the community," he said.

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