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Valley Focus | Woodland Hills

Market, Restaurant Will Transform Lot

September 11, 1998|SUE FOX

For more than a decade, an abandoned Farrell's Ice Cream parlor has roosted near the corner of Ventura Boulevard and Canoga Avenue.

But change is in the works at that intersection.

The 110,000-square-foot property, which also was home to a Tune-Up Masters and a pancake house, is now being razed to make way for new businesses. A Whole Foods market and a Burger King are planned for the site, said Larry Cimmarusti, co-owner of Cimm's Inc., which bought the property earlier this year.

"It's going to be a real asset to that corner," Cimmarusti predicted. The development will be heavily landscaped and the buildings will feature a matching color scheme, he said.

Previous developers have considered building a shopping center with 28 stores and a mini-mall with a small plaza at the site. Cimmarusti said two businesses are enough. "We just felt like it needed to be simple," he said.

The Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization, however, has objected to a liquor license for the proposed market.

"We won't support it with liquor, not with a drive-through restaurant there," said Gordon Murley, the group's president. He said customers might buy food at the drive-thru and alcohol at the market and then head, drunk, onto the Ventura Freeway.

Cimmarusti said the market would sell only beer and wine, not hard liquor. "They're getting one of the finest grocery stores and I think it is going to be absolutely positive for the community," he said. "To have that in Woodland Hills, they should be ecstatic. They have looked, since the mid-80s, at buildings that have been boarded up."

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