Southern California breaking news and trends

Ordinance blocking big retailers in Chinatown fails

Kylie Reynolds

Walmart is building a "neighborhood market" on the ground floor of this building at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues on the outskirts of Chinatown.

A proposal to ban major retailers from opening in the Chinatown area failed Tuesday on a vote of the Los Angeles City Council.

The emergency ordinance fell one short vote of the 12 needed to pass. The measure will be back on the agenda Wednesday for a second vote, though it is unlikely any of the dissenters — council members Jan Perry, Bernard Parks, Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino — will change sides. 

The ordinance was proposed last spring when it was announced that Walmart would open a neighborhood market on Cesar Chavez at Grand Avenue in a vacant building that was constructed more than 20 years ago to be a grocery store.

Walmart received its final permit before the emergency ordinance was introduced, but the permit has been challenged by a Chinatown resident. A decision on whether the permit is valid is expected in the next 30-60 days. If the city council passes the ban, and the Walmart permit is determined to be invalid, then the store would not be allowed to open. Walmart anticipates finishing construction in December. 


Groups want restraining order to stop work on Chinatown Walmart (updated)

A man walks out of a boarded up Walmart


Two groups are seeking a temporary restraining order to stop construction on a neighborhood Walmart store in Chinatown. A court hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

The ongoing fight over the Chinatown Walmart continued Wednesday as two groups announced plans to go to court and get a restraining order that would stop construction on the new store.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 770 will be in court Friday morning to ask a judge to halt construction on the Walmart going in at Cesar Chavez and Grand Avenue. The two groups have already filed a lawsuit to stop the project, but organizers now want construction to stop until their Nov. 13 court date or until city officials hear their administration's appeal to block the project.

There was no immediate comment from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. A spokesman for Walmart said the company remains focused on opening a neighborhood store in Chinatown.


Appeal filed against permits in Chinatown Wal-Mart fiasco

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

A community group has filed an appeal to try and prevent the construction of a 33,000-square-foot Wal-Mart in Chinatown.

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy has challenged the building permits claiming that local businesses and communities will be disrupted by its mega presence. Other residents support the plan.

Wal-Mart secured the necessary building permits last week, one day before City Council was set to vote on a Chinatown building moratorium for large retail chains.

A spokesman for Wal-Mart claims that a number of special interest groups are working to halt economic development, shopping opportunities and jobs creation in the area.