Culver City Hopes to Lure Fine Eateries

Times Staff Writer

Culver City, never known for its fine dining, is trying to lure four or five eating establishments to a proposed 30,000-square-foot restaurant complex planned for a redevelopment area in Fox Hills.

The new eateries would add to the relatively small number of higher-priced restaurants in town, said Steven Rose, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce.

"There are really only three or four in the entire city," Rose said. "It's difficult to talk about why. The restaurants just haven't thought that Culver City is a lucrative area (in which) to operate . . . with the exception of fast-food stands."

'Tired of Chicken'

"Some of us are tired of chicken," said Councilman Richard M. Alexander. "We hope to force the issue by giving incentives to restaurants to locate there."

Alexander said the area could become another Restaurant Row, similar to the one on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

"If a few restaurants do well in the area, then more will come," he said. "If you have two or three good restaurants you're going to have five or six. People who are going to invest a lot of money are going to want a safe bet."

The proposal to seek more dining establishments in Culver City was brought before redevelopment officials after a consultant reported that the area near Fox Hills Mall had few restaurants to serve residents and employees of the nearby Corporate Pointe and Howard Hughes office developments.

Officials also decided that a restaurant complex would attract fewer cars to the congested area than an office building originally proposed for the site, according to a Redevelopment Agency staff report.

Debbie Rich, a city project specialist, said that some of the restaurants that may be interested in the project and are considered upscale include Seafood Broiler and Marie Calendar's.

The project site is part of a 9.5-acre, kite-shaped parcel bounded by Jefferson Boulevard, Hannum Avenue, Slauson Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard. It is part of the redevelopment district that includes Fox Hills Mall.

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