Should a 7-Eleven Be Built at Braddock and Sepulveda in Culver City?

It's back! As previously reported, the owners of the property at 4436 Sepulveda Boulevard, at the southeast corner of Braddock Drive, are proposing the building of a 7-Eleven convenience store on the property. The Culver City Planning Commission invites your participation in a public hearing concerning whether it should be built. The hearing (rescheduled from February 8 and from March 14) will take place in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers in City Hall (9770 Culver Blvd.) on Wednesday, May 23, at 7:00.

The last time this issue came up (in February and again in March), it caused quite the discussion (see comments below).

The property is one of five vacant gas stations I highlighted back in April of 2011.

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Comment by Bryan and Tongo on May 24, 2012 at 11:49pm
Comment by Chris Grossman on May 22, 2012 at 9:02am
This abandoned gas station has been a festering sore on the community for 14 years. Andrew Swerdlow is the only developer who has come along in all that time who is willing to invest his own money to remove this festering vandalism magnet from our community.

I understand you have a fantasy about some other magical developer hopping on this property to do what you envision. The fact is no one else has expressed any interest for all those years. If the 7-11 does not proceed further decay, vandalism, and reduction of value of all the properties in the neighborhood is ensured. If you have a different vision for the property, but it from Swerdlow and develop it yourself.
Comment by Bryan and Tongo on May 21, 2012 at 11:27pm

We need to build something there. Yes, indeed. Here is my most recent request of our City Council:

Hello there, Council. I have sent several email requests to this matter. I am hoping for a reply so that we may begin a dialogue.

I would like to formally request that the City of Culver City undergo a study of the Sepulveda Boulevard Commercial Corridor from Jefferson Boulevard up through Venice Boulevard for the purpose of determining the viability of creating a Specific Use Plan that can amend the  City municipal code in the spirit and manner of other similar up-and-coming commercial districts in our fair City.

Thank you.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Bryan Sanders

Comment by Chris Grossman on May 21, 2012 at 7:45pm

There was even more new graffiti there last week.   Not allowing this project to proceed will condemn my neighborhood to many more years of vandalism and decay.

Comment by Kevin Lachoff on March 13, 2012 at 11:30am

One of the troubles with expecting "better" than the 7-Eleven proposed is that after all these years, no other project has come forward instead.  To Chris' point, it will otherwise just sit.  From a property owner's standpoint, the use fits under the zoning code.  If others are so adament that the property be used for a particular purpose, rather than try to restrict an owner's rights, they should make a thoughtful offer to purchase the property so that they have the ability to control it.  How restrictive would the suggestion of a Specific Plan designation be that a single parcel owner wouldn't be able to add a neighborhood convenience store (one that won't even be selling alcohol)?  That seems to me that it would be a very overbearing policy to suggest!

If there were an easier, more viable course of action to create a better solution for the property and generate equal or better income, wouldn't that be what the owner and/or developer would have proposed in all this time?

I support the rights of the owners to replace an abandoned gas station and appreciate the investment into our community.  I encourage others to do the same.

Comment by Chris Grossman on March 13, 2012 at 10:25am
Jen would rather wait forever for some pie in the sky ideal that will never materialize and let this festering sore continue to decay and destroy our neighborhood, or allow it to be redeveloped.
This vacant gas station has been deteriorating for 14 years. No one else will even attempt to develop this if this is rejected. They are notoriously hard to redevelop. Rejection of this project will ensure continued urban blight here for many years to come. This continued urban blight will ensure that no other quality business will want to locate nearby and continue to drag down our neighborhood,
Comment by Jen Arrow on March 13, 2012 at 8:43am

7-11 isn't the end of the world--it's convenient!--but it's not a community gathering place. It's a place people go to feed their various addictions: nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, sugar.

People run in, get a hit, and dash back out, without contributing anything to the community but a few dollars and some carbon monoxide fumes from their cars.

I have to believe we can do better than a 7-11. Culver City is on the rise, but low-class profitable cash businesses like convenience stores, laundromats, car washes and dingbat apartment buildings seem to stick around forever, because it takes decades upon decades for property values to rise enough for there to be a financial impetus to sell or upgrade them. 

Do you want your kids to drive past another cheap crummy store every day on their way to school? Do you want your kids to work a crummy minimum-wage job there some day? Or would you rather wait and hope for something like a family-owned neighborhood business that sells a unique product or service? 

Comment by Chris Grossman on March 13, 2012 at 2:44am
Who do you think is going to come along and develop this? Name a viable alternative who is will to buy this and develop it now. It has been decaying for 14 years.
I just went for an evening walk and it was vandalized again tonight!

Your opposition to the development is undeniable tacit support for the vandals and for continued decay. No one else will redevelop this property.
Comment by Bryan and Tongo on March 13, 2012 at 1:59am

I agree that the property should not lay vacant. I think it's hyperbolic to write that there can't be a "rational reason" to oppose the 7-Eleven. We can disagree, but we both have rational reasons for our opinions. :-)

Andrew Swerdlow's approach by forcing the City to abide by the Commercial General Zoning Laws also makes rational sense. I just don't like that tactic and what it says about the property owner. I don't see the true nitty gritty grassroots approach that I would like, especially in a small city with so many interested homeowners and stakeholders.

Culver City has a strong and vibrant community. We can all listen to each other and develop a plan together. The times have a'changed and we continue to evolve.

This is a zoning issue. It is very likely that the 7-Eleven will move forward and that we later will create a Specific Use Plan. If that is how it goes, that is still positive change. To be without the Specific Use Plan is a mistake, and this one property development is not the end-all be-all. There are other properties already being developed up the street on Sepulveda at the old car dealership. Hopefully that won't also be another Jamba Juice/Noah's Bagels/Starbucks Coffee, but it may be too late to stop that.

Let's not miss this opportunity to impact a positive change for the future. Create a specific use plan for the Sepulveda Commercial District.

Yours in the good fight,


Comment by Chris Grossman on March 13, 2012 at 1:28am
The property has been festering for 14 years through good times and bad. No one has developed that property. It has festered and decayed for years dragging down the neighborhood and discouraging other quality businesses from locating nearby.

Old gas stations are notoriously hard to have redeveloped. If this is rejected, no one else will come along. Opposing this is being for further decay of this property, dragging down the surrounding property values, and ensuring no quality development will happen nearby.

Putting the 7-11 in is a win for everyone! It will remove this festering sore and constant target of vandalism. It will bring up the quality of the businesses on the street and encourage more to locate here. It will also provide me a convenient place to walk to and pick up a few groceries.

There is absolutely no rational reason to oppose this project that will bring a vast improvement in our neighborhood. The alternative is continued decay since no other business will touch this place with a 10 foot pole if this is rejected.

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