Fond Object Future Uncertain

It’s been a rough and rocky time for Inglewood’s Fond Object Records. In November, the shop’s downtown location at 535 Fourth Ave. S., closed its doors after having been around about a year and a half. Now the future of the beloved shop’s original location is in serious doubt.

Several months ago, plans were announced by Corner Partnership to redevelop the building housing Fond Object Records and several other shops into Moto Moda (a vintage-esque motorcycle shop and pizza restaurant envisioned by the owners of Barista Parlor).

In addition to redeveloping the building located on the northwest corner of McGavock Pike and Riverside Drive, the developer had planned to build 33 apartments in six buildings behind what would be the new retail strip.

Although there was some support for the developer, those plans have been nixed.

Corner Partnership withdrew their request for Metro Planning Commission consideration after strong community protest, which included a petition opposing the deal that garnered more than 1,700 signatures (high-profile East Siders Margo Price and Aaron Lee Tasjan were among those who signed on). Although the preservation of Fond Object was a major factor, District 7 Council Member Anthony Davis says there were other citizen concerns, such as, “traffic congestion, having motorcycles around Riverside Village and the noise they might bring, cutting down all the trees, and destroying the ‘village-like feel’ of the community.”
The developer’s decision to cancel their request for a Specific Plan (SP) means the site will revert to existing zoning rules, which don’t require Planning Commission approval (a base-zoning build). “There’s an old saying when it comes to zoning, ‘If you’re saying no to something, you’re saying yes to something else,’” Councilman Anthony Davis says.

Davis explains with an SP, “You can control every aspect of the development, you know exactly what you’re going to get. With an SP we would’ve committed to several community benefits, including having control of the parcels; keeping the scale to one story and saving the McGavock building; a sidewalk extension up Riverside to 2324; requiring a certain number of trees be planted to double the required density; and barring any short-term rental units, which would prevent buildings full of Airbnb’s. There was also an outside chance of Fond Object and the owners working something out for leasing the Bailey and Cato building.”

With the plans for the SP scrapped, the future of the property is uncertain at this time. Davis says he could only pass along what the owners told him, “They would likely soon tear down the McGavock building, design, and at some point build, a new three-story building on McGavock, with either retail ground floor and apartments above, or all apartments. The parcels behind on Riverside Drive could be subdivided administratively at the planning department to potentially 7-8 houses, to be determined.”

New plans and tenants for the development have not been officially announced. Fond Object has announced through their Facebook they plan to continue business as usual through at least February 2019.