The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Chinatown Walmart benefits from legal battle

Seth Anderson|Flickr|Creative Commons

The Walmart Neighborhood Market in Downtown L.A. is here to stay. 

Walmart received a significant victory in a recent court ruling, ending legal efforts by community groups to close the store located on the edge of Chinatown.

The Southeast Asian Community Alliance and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance sued the City of L.A., arguing that the Walmart grocery store would have needed to get its building permit approved by the DLA board, which would have required a public hearing. The Superior Court of California in the County of Los Angeles ruled that Walmart didn't have to get its permit approved by the DLA board.

Some community groups had raised concerns that the Walmart grocery store would hurt nearby small businesses, while some residents welcomed Walmart, saying it would give them a chance to buy grocery staples in their own neighborhood.

RELATED: Chinatown residents, neighbors and business people anticipate incoming Walmart

Walmart called the ruling a "victory for local residents." 

"The Superior Court decision validates what we've said all along—the City of Los Angeles properly issued the building permits for the Neighborhood Market," Walmart said in a statement. "Special interests were simply attempting to disrupt our operations, our hardworking associates and the community, which has overwhelmingly supported this store."

RELATED: Walmart defends Chinatown store project as groups file lawsuit

Aiha Nguyen, director of LAANE's Shop Well LA project, said she and other groups who advocated against the Walmart store in Chinatown are disappointed in the ruling.

"This ruling snubbed the Chinatown community by granting building permits without the necessary public hearing," Nguyen said.

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