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Atwater Village farmers market saved by the bank, won't be evicted [Updated]

June 12, 2009 |  3:02 pm


The 4-year-old Atwater Village farmers market, which is held on Sunday mornings in a bank parking lot, has escaped a threat of eviction, a bank spokeswoman says.

The Wells Fargo bank has let the Glendale Boulevard market use the lot for free, but earlier this month informed the manager, Joyce Chan, the market would have to leave by June 30, she said.

But a bank spokeswoman, Jennifer Langan, said Thursday that the market won’t be evicted after all.

The bank had some complaints about homeless people who were drawn to the Glendale Boulevard site and about its upkeep. Bank and market representatives, along with someone from L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti’s office, have a meeting scheduled next week to try to negotiate a solution.

Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, known as SEE-LA, runs the market and will do what it can to resolve any complaints, said Pompea Smith, who runs the organization. SEE-LA operates several markets, including the Sunday Hollywood Farmers’ Market.

The bank has been generous to the neighborhood, residents say. In addition to allowing use of the lot, it sponsors the holiday tree lighting.

“This community struggles with gang violence and economic hardship, and the market is one of the greatest accomplishments this community has done,” said Leonora Gershman Pitts, vice chairman of the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council. “It would be heartbreaking to lose this market."

The market draws up to 2,000 people a week, she said.

[Updated 6:16 p.m.: An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that Lenora Gershwin was the vice chairman of the Atwater Village Neighborhood Assn.]

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times