At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee, owners of the 76 service station at the NE corner of Olympic and Wilton presented their updated plans for converting the property into a 7-Eleven (which would also continue to sell 76 brand gasoline).
Last spring, when the applicants first presented the project to the GWNC, they said they would be applying for a permit for 24-hour operation, and for a license to sell beer and wine. At that time, however, no actual applications had been filed, and the owners were still testing the waters with area residents and businesses.
After considerable resistance to that initial proposal from residential neighbors of the Wilshire Park, Country Club Park and Country Club Heights neighborhoods, the owners re-considered their plans, and have now filed just an application to operate a 24-hour business on the commercial corner. They have not applied for a liquor permit and, according to their representative, Ken Kang, have no intention of doing so — it will be a “dry” 7-Eleven.
This was good news to the 20 or so neighbors who attended Tuesday night’s meeting, but many of them said they still oppose the project. Some expressed doubt that a 7-Eleven store could survive without the financial benefit of liquor sales, and said they fear the owners will come back to request a liquor permit in the near future…while others noted that 7-Elevens in general have a reputation for attracting nuisances like traffic, loitering and litter.
Mr. Kang and David Ruiz, son-in-law of owner Grace Han, said they will provide a state-of-the-art security system with more than 20 security cameras and bright lighting, they will not keep large amounts of cash on hand, and they will incorporate a “fish-bowl” design that provides great visibility into and out of the store at all times (all of which are safety measures recommended by the LAPD).
Since it will be several months before the city schedules a public hearing on the application, the Land Use Committee tabled a vote on the issue and asked the applicants to spend some time meeting with the Country Club Heights, Country Club Park and Wilshire Park neighborhood associations, as well as the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council (which also sent a representative to the GWNC meeting). The committee asked that the applicants return to the GWNC for further discussion once those groups have weighed in.