South Central, Los Angeles–Earlier this week, a public hearing was held at Los Angeles City Hall for community members and representatives to share insight and perspective of a proposed 711 on Gage and Broadway.
A Black man serving as a consultant of 711, shared a 30-minute presentation of the proposed plan to Zoning Administrator David Weintraub, who was the only official present.
In a fancy suit and cufflinks, the consultant from an office on Wilshire Boulevard, tried to sell the project as something that was somehow going to revitalize the most neglected part of Los Angeles. The east side of South Central.
“Right now the liquor store sells 95% alcohol and 5% other products. 711 will sell 95% convenience items and 5% alcohol.”
He went on to detail how 711 plans to ensure their safety from the local community, which includes keeping less than $40 in the cash register, state of the art security cameras, on site security, roaming security and 711 serving as a hub for police officers to recieve free coffee.
The community members present all voiced disapproval of the project to Weintraub, who meticulously took notes as he listened to both parties.
One woman was worried about her home and day care business being affected by 711 and their proposed 24-hour operating times. 711 has entered into a pricey $3-5 million deal with Fred’s Liquor and plans to purchase their current liquor license.
“Homeless people are running rampant because of the convenience of 711 stores that stay open all night long. I am against it because we are not bringing in anything new, it’s the same thing and it’s just not the right thing for our community.”
To recoup on their investment, 711 is proposing to sell a full line of liquor which has residents wary of the proposed 711 site.
One woman who was with the CANNDU Neighborhood Council, needed a Spanish translator to share her thoughts to Mr. Weintraub but her message was loud and clear.
“When I saw the letter at first I was happy. I had the impression the new store would change the area I live in. Then I did a little more research on 711 and I came to the conclusion that it’s not going to change anything in my neighborhood and it’s going to be the same as it’s always been.”
Representatives from 711 have been to several Community And Neighbors for Ninth District Unity (CANNDU) Neighborhood Council meetings, to gain feedback from the community and to reach some middle ground on the projected site.
CANNDU is proposing that the 711 only operate from 7-11, does not sell alcohol and that they hire minority contractors and employees from the area.
Representatives from 711 and Fred’s reiterated to Weintraub that due to the amount of the investment, the owners of the proposed 711 are intent on serving a full line of alcohol or they are uninterested in the project.
Weintraub left the record open so that CANDUU’s board could pass a resolution and the representatives of 711 could gather more information that was requested about the site and crime statistics of other locations.