Ai Hoa Market has been around for 40 years, serving the community and surrounding neighborhoods. While its prices are below market value, there are still some good items to purchase. If you’re looking for an affordable full-service Asian grocery store, this is the place to shop. And since the property management is forcing it to shut down, parking is a bargain. I visited the market twice, and I always had fun. I even found a few bargains for my own family!
AI hoa market is a market where you can find some good stuff for sale
Ai Hoa Market closed on November 9th, leaving Chinatown without a full-service grocery store. The closure is a huge blow for the Chinatown community, as it has been the only place to buy fresh, affordable food for over 35 years. Not only did the market provide food for the low-income Vietnamese community but also for the monolingual Cantonese elders. Many visitors came from outside Chinatown to buy groceries and other items that they could not find at the many Euro-American grocery stores.
It is an affordable full-service Asian grocery store in Chinatown
For the past several years, residents of Chinatown have rallied against the proposed development of a luxury hotel in the Ai Hoa Market. They held up signs urging the owners to keep the market open and affordable. But the owners aren’t getting what they want. The building’s landlord recently started charging customers nearly $3,000 per month for parking, which the store owner says is untenable. As a result, the renter is now paying more to the business owner than she earns. Ai Hoa is open to negotiations with the landlord, Gilmore China Group, but is currently paying more than she earns.
The Chinese Community for Equitable Development, Southeast Asian Community Alliance, and the Chinatown Service Center spoke out against the closure. Those groups cited Ai Hoa’s economic impact on the community. The absence of a full-service Asian grocery store in Chinatown is a serious setback to the area’s residents. Although the absence of a supermarket in the neighborhood has led to some other development, there are still very few alternatives to the closure of Ai Hoa.
Ai Hoa Market has served the Chinatown community for over 35 years, but has been under threat from a developer. Since a recent lease extension, downtown developer Tom Gilmore has been buying properties on the block. He has also raised rents on Ai Hoa, and refused to give them a lease for more than a year. With community support, the store was able to fight back and remain open.
It was forced to close by property management
Ai Hoa Market is the last remaining grocery store in Chinatown. Gilmore, the property management company, had imposed rent increases that were too high for Ai Hoa to pay. However, the community rallied in support of the market, delivering a petition of over 3000 signatures. Despite the pressure, Ai Hoa fought to remain in the location, hoping to stay for a few more months until another market operator could take over. Property management, however, had decided to make the decision, and they needed to work with Ai Hoa on terms they could sustain.
In a recent interview, a representative of the Gilmore China Group shared plans for new mixed-income housing, retail, and a hotel in Ai Hoa. While this development is not needed in Chinatown, there is a need for some affordable housing. The company is planning to build as much affordable housing as possible in the area. The Gilmore China Group is actively marketing the Ai Hoa space and hopes to keep a high-quality local market in Chinatown.
Although the landlord was a landlord, Gilmore had the power to let a comparable market open. In the past, Ai Hoa Market received a 30 minute grace period when parking was available. However, now, Gilmore is charging more than $3,000 per month. The property management is willing to negotiate a new lease but will only do so if Ai Hoa pays the rent.
Its parking lot prices are below market rate
The Ai Hoa Market is leaving Chinatown because Gilmore China Group wants to build a luxury hotel in Chinatown. The developer’s greed is driving out important businesses in the area. He has the power to allow a comparable market to open. However, he is unwilling to explore long-term stability for the Ai Hoa Market. The landlords are increasing rents on a month-to-month basis while refusing to discuss long-term stability. This is effectively giving Ai Hoa a 40% rent increase!
Ai Hoa Market has been in the same situation for a while. Despite its location in Chinatown, the Ai Hoa Market is the only Asian grocery store in the neighborhood. Most of its customers are old, Chinese residents. However, the owner has recently been paying over $3,000 per month in parking fees. Because parking lot prices are so high, she is paying more than she makes. Gilmore China Group, the developer, says they are willing to negotiate a fair parking lease for the Ai Hoa Market.
Residents have held signs in the parking lot asking for a cheaper grocery store in the area. The market’s departure from the neighborhood is being attributed to a combination of rent increases and difficult negotiations with Gilmore, the owner of Ai Hoa. Some speakers at the meeting voiced their concerns over the luxury hotel. If the Ai Hoa market does not stay, it will eventually become a luxury hotel.
Its customers are elderly Chinesetown residents
The Ai Hoa Market was a community that served the Chinesetown community, and most of its owners were immigrants and their families. The Ai Hoa Market has long served the local community, and its owners were determined to protect the neighborhood. Unfortunately, a slew of predatory landlords are trying to gentrify the neighborhood. The current owners of the Ai Hoa market have been threatening to close the business for the past two years, and the Ai Hoa market’s customers are mostly elderly Chinesetown residents.
Ai Hoa Market is the only full-service grocery store in Chinatown, and its customers include many elderly residents and low-income families. The market sells fresh produce, packaged goods, and meat counters. The move from its current location to South El Monte will leave Chinatown with a food desert. The market was a favorite for elderly residents and low-income Vietnamese immigrants. Even residents who lived outside Chinatown came to buy items they couldn’t find in the large Euro-American grocery stores.
Gilmore China Group, the property owner of the Ai Hoa Market, said the company was unwilling to negotiate a long-term lease for the market and has increased rents by up to 5%. The company also raised parking expenses to a whopping four to six thousand dollars a month. Previously, parking costs were covered by rent, but now the market must pay for the cost of validating customers’ cars. This makes it impossible to maintain prices at a reasonable level.
Its owners care deeply about Chinatown
The Ai Hoa Market has been serving the community for over 40 years. The owners of this community-owned commercial space care deeply about Chinatown. The market is run by immigrants and their families, who are determined to keep the community thriving. But the Gilmore China Group is putting pressure on these tenants to move out. The Ai Hoa market’s owners are trying to keep the community alive, but the landlords want to make money by squeezing tenants.
Ai Hoa’s owners know that their customers are on a limited budget, so they did not want to raise prices. But as the market’s operating costs rose, the store had to pass along these costs to its customers. They had to raise prices on certain products and raise the minimum purchase amount for parking validation. That made it difficult to maintain low prices, and the owners are now seeking ways to save the market.
The BID is a powerful force in Chinatown, but it is not an equal match for the community. The BID has been largely unresponsive to the needs of the community and is focused on creating an investment playground for the wealthy. As such, it has failed to serve the needs of the community or immigrant small business owners. Even worse, the BID’s representative, George Yu, has participated in violent harassment of houseless people and gentrification.