Over the past year the owners of Figueroa Produce negotiated a lower rent as they struggled to keep the independent store open . But the owner of the York Boulevard shopping center wants a tenant that can pay more and has put the 10,000-square-foot space that includes Figueroa Produce and the neighboring Fashion Avenue up for lease. The new asking rate is too pricey for Figueroa Produce owners Ruben Perez and Luis Quismorio, who rent the space on a month-to-month basis.
“We need help to bring the store back to full capacity,” said Quismorio in an email. “We need our community to come and purchase what they can from Figueroa Produce.”
The 6,000-square foot market opened about five years ago in a former Thrifty drug store with a focus on wholesome food that would not bust your budget. The store also hosted a Tuesday night food truck gathering in the adjacent parking lot that became a popular neighborhood event. But soon after Figueroa Produce opened the economy tanked and Perez and Quismorio found themselves struggling with high rent and rising food costs.
The partners did manage to negotiate a lower rate on a month-to-month basis but the landlord is now seeking a tenant that can pay more. “He is putting the feelers out to see if he can get what he wants. which is $2.50 a square-foot. which is a premium rate,” Quismorio said. The listing broker said “that the landlord was looking for a big corporation to come in, NOT a local independent.”
Quismorio is making an appeal to local residents to shop at the store.
“We are hoping for the best and are going to continue to stock healthy foods for our community but we need help.”