Sunday, August 26, 2007

Linoleum City

The plot of land on the north side of Santa Monica Blvd. between Berendo and Heliotrope is shaping up to be a 3-story Linoleum City store, which currently operates about a mile west on Santa Monica and Wilston Place, next door to the big Sears Roebuck store. Though L-City has been a Hollywood institution since 1948, the days of its original location are numbered as the block is making way for the proposed Paseo Plaza mixed-use development coming in '09, so it's moving east.

The new Linoleum City site was formerly Miller Studio Rental - a company that rented props and lighting equipment to Hollywood soundstages and production companies - and an adjoining wreck shop where recently-damaged autos lay in limbo. Prior to that, the property was once home to Pennsylvania Garden Supply Co, which moved a couple miles west to Santa Monica and Las Palmas Ave., where it operates behind the spacious Arena Nightclub.

As a Heliotrope Drive resident, though I don't really have much need for linoleum at the moment, the new development solved a major blight problem by itself -- the small Southwestern-style garden built by the Pennsylvania Garden folks on the parkway on the Heliotrope side. After Pennsylvania left, the "garden" was left unmaintained and was a seriously blighted patch where not only trash, but food waste and human feces were dumped. Now that L-City is setting up shop, the Southwestern garden was removed and will soon make way for a driveway leading to the rear parking lot.

Another added bonus was the maintenance of the seven crape myrtle trees planted there during an East Hollywood Community Association cleanup day in early 1998. I personally planted one of them! After Pennsylvania moved out, the new business owners neglected to maintain the trees, and the roots attracted trash and stray saplings grew from the tree well. Whoever's building the L-City store cut out the saplings and cleaned up the trash! Looks like L-City seems to be a good neighbor so far.

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