Whole Foods Opens First Downtown Los Angeles Store
On Wednesday, November 4, Downtown Los Angeles was introduced to its first and newest Whole Foods store. The store is located on the corner of 8th and Grand, on the ground floor of a luxury apartment building.
The Downtown Whole Foods store is one of Whole Foods’ largest and “fanciest” stores. It is 41,000 square feet large, and includes a 220 seat restaurant and bar, craft beer on tap, two smokehouses, an in-store pizza oven, more than 350 hand cut cheeses, bike delivery services within three miles, and even a vinyl lounge where customers can listen to music. For many residents who previously found it difficult to do grocery shopping while living in Downtown, the opening of the new Whole Foods marks a significant improvement to the “liveability” of Downtown Los Angeles.
Others, however, view the opening of the newest Whole Foods as a significant sign of the completion of the gentrification process of the western portion of Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown Los Angeles has only relatively recently become a place where people go to eat, drink, socialize, and live, rather than simply work. The opening of a Ralph’s store, the first chain supermarket store in Downtown Los Angeles, was a major milestone in Downtown’s development, and now the opening of Whole Foods is viewed by some as the completion of that gentrification process.
Regardless of one’s views on Downtown’s gentrification, it is undeniable that the opening of the new Whole Foods will draw more residents to the area, and will likely contribute significantly to real estate growth in the area.
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