The Grove & The Market, on 3rd & Fairfax

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“Meet me on 3rd and Fairfax” is a common expressions among Angelenos — and with good reason. At the corner of the aforementioned street you’ll find both the Farmers Market and The Grove, two must-see destinations that together form a community hub of sorts, offering an abundance of dining, shopping and entertainment options.

Farmers Market (left) :: The Grove Shopping Mall (right)

THE AREA

Farmers Market & The Grove

Though the Farmers Market and The Grove are, in fact, two separate entities, they have a strong synergy due to their geographic proximity to one other. Their adjacent locations make it all too easy to navigate both sites within a single visit. On any given day, there is a constant stream of visitors strolling to and from the two attractions. An electric trolley is even on-site to shuttle the less mobile between the Grove and the Farmers Market

However, parking remains separate for the two places, so choose your lot based on where you’ll be spending most of your time (and your dollars). The Farmers Market offers two hours free with validation from one of its merchants. Meanwhile, The Grove provides one free hour of parking for all guests, and, following that, it charges $3 for the next two hours with validation from select restaurants and retailers. Valet parking is also available at The Grove for those of whom money is not an issue. At both places, remembering to validate your parking ticket is key; without validation, parking will cost you a pretty penny.

Despite their similarity in offering tourist-friendly food and retail options, the Farmers Market and The Grove differ significantly in their history: Having opened in 2002, The Grove is still pretty new, particularly when compared to the Farmers Market, which has served as an L.A. landmark since it opened in 1934.

THE MARKETS HISTORY

The story begins…

In 1880, A. F. Gilmore and a partner bought two dairy farms in the Los Angeles area. The partners elected to split their holdings ten years later and Mr. Gilmore took control of the large 256-acre ranch, its dairy herd and farmhands at what is now the world famous corner of 3rd & Fairfax. The city, which would eventually surround the property, was still far to the east.

When A. F. Gilmore wanted to expand his dairy herd, he started drilling new wells for water. He discovered oil. Quickly, the dairy herd was replaced by a field of oil derricks which remained in place until Los Angeles’s boundaries expanded to surround the Gilmore property. Although the rich oil field continued to generate crude, the derricks were no longer permitted on a large scale. (Pictured between the center and right car, father and son, A.F and E.B Gilmore)

The Gilmore property remained largely vacant into the 1930s, when at the height of the Depression, two entrepreneurs, Fred Beck and Roger Dahlhjelm, approached A.F.’s son, Earl Bell (E.B.) Gilmore, with “an idea” and in 1934 the idea birthed the Farmers Market.

THE GROVE

Best Shopping and Dinning in the city of Angeles

There are approximately 6,500 miles of streets in Los Angeles, but by far the most popular one is private, closed to traffic, about an eighth of a mile long, running down the middle of an outdoor mall called the Grove. The mall, which last March had its 15th anniversary, has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of California, with 18 million visitors a year, outpacing even Disneyland. One of the shortcomings of L.A. is its lack of pedestrian culture, so the idea of people flocking — by car — to experience an artificially created retail thoroughfare is simultaneously ironic, rich, and maddening.

The developer Rick Caruso, who conceived of the Grove and built it (he owns 12 retail and residential assets in California), studied streets around the world and, working with an in-house team of architects, appropriated the most attractive and comforting elements from places people like to walk, such as King Street in Charleston, Newbury Street in Boston, and Madison Avenue. Each element of the Grove is engineered to bring a sense of security and a feeling of familiarity that verges on nostalgia.

The design elements are a pastiche of California styles mashed together, resulting in the way many L.A. streets just happen to look — except the Grove is a back-lot-façade version of the real, imperfect, ignored-by-pedestrians city a hundred feet away. “It was very important for me to try to transport people to a better place and time,” says Caruso. “I wanted to create a Main Street for a city that does not have one.” Caruso’s street features a trolley car and connects to the old Farmers Market, all of which seems to link it to an innocent L.A. past. How a shopping mall has captured the heart of a sophisticated mega-city is a topic of fascination for urban planners and for Caruso himself, that rare student of cities who gets to apply his knowledge in a very concrete, influential way.

Homes in the area

REAL ESTATE

A diverse grouping of homes, apartments, and duplexes to suit every style and price point.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Calculated using the past 30 days

  • Median List Price: $1.7 M
  • Avg. Sale / List: 101.3%
  • Median List $ Sq Ft: $779
  • Median Sale Price: $1.01M
  • Median Sale $/Sq Ft: $725
  • Number of Homes Sold: 16

Information courtesy of Redfin.com

More Info & blog sources: The Farmers Market, The Grove & the area>>

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