Packing House Ideas…

Post by Maria B. Rodriguez

With the hopes that one of the large Botach buildings will be availably vacant in the future, it is a great opportunity for LPV stakeholders to build a Mercado-style, Fast-Fresh Packing House/ Hub. The Vision stakeholders have spoke in depth about their Fast-Fresh Accelerator as a major goal for building an incubator that houses a variety of fast-fresh food options. Below is an example, a case study, that the community looks to for packing house ideas…

El Mercado La Paloma, Los Angeles


El Mercado La Paloma is an example of a ‘Mercado-style’ packing house in the heart of Los Angeles. A packing house is known as a facility, usually a large space, where fresh produce is sold and a variety of retail, primarily food vendors, share spaces in the facility. The Mercado La Paloma targets many of LPV 20|20 Vision stakeholders’ Fast Fresh business community goals. In fact, the Mercado La Paloma was heavily mentioned by stakeholders at multiple meetings as a prime example of what the community was seeking to implement. Another astounding concept El Mercado La Paloma incorporates is its financial assistance opportunities for up-and-coming vendors to expand in El Mercado. LPV can reuse one of Botach’s future vacant buildings to implement the Fast Fresh Hub/ Packing House. Prospective Shark Tank applicants that make it through the final stages of the program can have the opportunity to grow their businesses in the Fast Fresh Hub/ Packing House. (Mercado La Paloma, 2004-2016 and 2015 Restaurant Guide Advertorial: Mercado La Paloma, 2015).


Business Spotlight: SIKA

Post by Maria B. Rodriguez


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet SIKA! Sika is not only the name of his business, but also the name the he goes by. I am inspired by Sika’s driven, motivated, eclectic and energetic personality. I met with him and asked to take his photo while doing some field work in the Village last quarter. We held a lengthy conversation, where he discussed tips on staying fit while approaching the age of 70. As many in the community know, SIKA maintains an active and healthy lifestyle, eating a vegan diet and exercising at the nearby Baldwin Hills Kenneth Hahn Recreational Park. He is a leader in the focal movement to support anchor businesses in his respective community. Stop by his store to get the best African American artifacts, including imported goods such as clothing, ebony soap, and art.

Business Spotlight



(Photo via Steven H. on Yelp)


Eso Won bookstore is an independent bookstore found in Leimert Park Village. It is Los Angeles’ only  black-owned independent bookstore, and has stood the test of time, having been in operation for 28 years.Eso Won has played host to President Clinton and President Obama, and is the go-to purveyor of African American literature. The store hosts many readings and book signings.

The store is owned by James Fugate and Tom Hamiltion. Eso Won has faced the risk of closing in the past. The last move was into Leimert Park Village in 2006. With raising rents in LPV, Eso Won has one again been faced with the possibility of closing shop. However,  recently Fugate and Hamilton received financial backing from Los Angeles based artist Mark Bradford. This has solidified the security of the store in the community, representing a place to celebrate and partake in the sharing and preservation of African American history and culture.

As found on the Eso Won bookstore website, “Eso Won (African for Water over Rocks) is a living proverb as it provides fluid, safe, stirring opportunities that flow to a reservoir of knowledge for all people to experience.”

If you have the chance, take advantage of this gem! Show Eso Won books some love, and support Leimert Park Village!



Eso Won Bookstore
4327 Degnan Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90038
(323) 290-1048

Promoting Active Lifestyles

Post by Maria B. Rodriguez

The Culver Boulevard Bike Path is an example of a pedestrian corridor that runs on a raised median of a major arterial road. The path is elevated 2 to 3 feet above street level but drops to grade level when crossing intersections. The bike path spans about 2 miles on Culver Boulevard. It is commonly used by local residents and supports lots of human activity, such as biking, walking, in-line skating and is wheelchair accessible.  (Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, 2010).


Expanding from the case study above, I have proposed to implement the Leimert/ Crenshaw Boulevard Running Corridor. (pic below). The Leimert Boulevard Running Corridor is an excellent model for an infrastructural improvement that can increase human physical activity to promote healthier lifestyles. The proposed path would run on the median of two roads, Leimert and Crenshaw Boulevards. The path will be raised 2-3 feet to avoid any traffic obstructions and make it comfortable for users to feel safe while on the path. It will also be well-landscaped with native vegetation, include seating such as benches, well-lit with energy efficient light posts, and contain two paths: a paved and multi-use (trail) paths.


LPV’s Sustainability Goals

Post by Maria B. Rodriguez

Throughout the Winter quarter, our group emphasized the importance of strengthing the community’s environmental wellbeing by developing a series of scenarios. The scenario that fit best towards implementing sustainable objectives was the “Grow” element in our Strategic Scenario Plan. The “Grow” element, also known as the EcoWellness scenario states the following:

ECOWellness cultivates the growth of an EcoDistrict, supporting health and overall well-being through measures of sustainability strategies in Leimert Park. Vision stakeholders expand their partnership with West Angeles CDC and Global Green to include LPV in Crenshaw’s EcoDistrict Master Plan. ECOWellness in LPV develops efficient systems, products, procedures and programs to revitalize and sustain an aesthetically healthy urban environment. Fresh and natural food businesses prosper, energy efficient technology is implemented when possible, and the Village is a pedestrian and bicycle friendly commercial district. The community embraces a beautification project that activates native streetscape and adopts a 2-mile running corridor on the east side of the Plaza, along main Boulevards’ parkway. The diverse business community establishes sustainability guidelines to maintain up-to-date technological and physical infrastructure. With advanced technology, businesses implement green initiatives decreasing their impact on the environment. The ECOWellness concept supports a livable environment for thriving businesses and overall public health.