It’s been a weird and winding road for the Altadena Marketplace, a proposed new food hall long in the works over on North Lake Avenue. Now it seems all that time and effort (and money) could end up being for naught, as the property is in danger of shutting down before it even ramps up.
In a long post left on the corporate Facebook page, the Altadena Marketplace team cites a “lack of community support” for the project, and says the developers (a local outfit by the name of Greenbridge Investment Partners) may have no choice but to walk away basically empty-handed. The issue, it seems, stems from a series of roadblocks not only with the city but also nearby residents. The investment group feels like both the city and locals are putting in roadblocks to the project. Some of it has to do with a proposed alcohol license for the property, but other code and development issues have come up as well. Greenbridge’s letter reads in part:
In order to attract the quality vendors we believe Altadena deserves, it was necessary for us to obtain a liquor license for the vendors to have the option of serving an alcoholic beverage with their food. As expressed many times publicly, our attempt is not to build a bar, lounge or club as certain individuals are trying to make it out to be to purposely stop the project from happening. There are thousands of local restaurants and food concepts in Los Angeles, and the rest of the country, that serve alcohol but do not operate as a “bar” or “club”. The notion that simply having the ability or “license” to sell alcohol condemns the project to be labeled a “bar” or “club” is one of the many mistruths and misinformation against our project. You can order a margarita at Chili’s, but none of us would consider Chili’s a “bar” or “club”. Our concept and vision has been the same since day one and as shown in our rendering video on Facebook - a community dining experience for all ages to enjoy.
Although the CUP (conditional use permit) is solely for serving alcohol, many locals found this as an opportunity to find other non-alcohol related conditions and requirements to STOP Altadena Marketplace’s CUP’s approval and possibly the project from happening.
The long note also rails against the bureaucracy needed to bring a project of this kind of scale to life, at one point calling out the Fire Prevention Bureau for a “late-in-the-game” demand to pay for the installation of an entirely new fire hydrant in front of the building.
Though ownership is quick to say that “this does not mean we are selling or moving on for certain,” they do note that the decision to start the Altadena Marketplace project, and perhaps walk away from it, is in the end a financial one. And with consistent “battling and fighting” the risk may not be worth the reward.
To that end, the Marketplace is asking those interested in seeing the project come to life to meet at the Hall of Records for a hearing on the fate of the place on October 25 at 9 a.m., or to send in letters of support to the Planning department.