Landmark Echo Park apartment building being sold

Tenants of the Del Mor Apartments, a four-story brick building that is home to several popular Echo Park shops, are awaiting to hear what if any changes will take place as a Sherman Oaks real estate investment company prepares to buy the 1920s property.

M West Holdings is in the process of purchasing the building, which contains 44 apartments above 10 storefronts, from Positive Investments of Arcadia, said Matthew Ellis, senior vice president at M West. He declined to provide further details about the deal and whether it includes an adjacent parking lot and building that houses a pet supply store. That would give M West ownership of a block-long stretch of property that fronts Echo Park Avenue between Grafton and Delta avenues.

The Del Mor has served as symbol of the demographic and economic changes that have been underway in Echo Park.  The building  that once served as a backdrop for scenes from Mi Vida Loca, the 1990s film about Echo Park gang  life,  now is the place  to buy organic produce, lattes, vintage clothing and facials.

Ellis said his company would provide more information about what it has planned for the Del Mor once a sale has been completed. M West, which owns properties in Los Angeles and New York, has purchased other large, old apartment buildings like the Del Mor, including the Guardian Arms, a 1928 Hollywood Boulevard property the company is in the process of restoring. “Our intent is to take it back to it’s former glory,” Ellis said of the Guardian Arms.

At the Del Mor,  one of the questions that tenants are asking is what M West will do about rents. While the apartments are covered by the city’s rent control laws, those protections don’t apply to commercial tenants, many of whom operate without leases, said one business owner who wanted to remain anonymous. “Unfortunately more then half the [commercial] tenants are on month to month, so they have huge concerns, as they should.”

Real estate broker Ken Shapiro, whose Silverwood Properties firm has been a tenant at the Del Mor since 2006, said his Echo Park Avenue location has been ideal for his business. But he has no lease and is not certain what the new landlord has in mind. Shapiro, who met with Ellis, did not express any concerns about a change in ownership but also said “I hope they won’t take advantage of me.”


  1. Say goodbye to that thing, they will either tear it down or gut it.

    • They will most likely gut. Make so SUPER KILLER LOFTS and sell/rent them for prices comparable to the arts district.

    • If this is the case, I would be extremely upset. That building is one of the highlights of the area north of Sunset. I’ve always loved it.

      I’d like if the developers made their intent to demolish or gut the buildings known — that way we can get the neighborhood councils and the CD13 offices involved. I don’t think either organization would be OK with this building being torn down.

  2. Vintage facials are essential to the vibrant culture of the neighborhood!

    Seriously, I would be sorry to see the ShermanOaksification of this lovely building, filled with great neighbors.

  3. I predict this building will become Chevronized as only chains will be able to afford the rent.

  4. A Homeless Gentleman

    This is truly the end. I am already homeless, so I don’t care but I do hang out in front now and then and beg for money.

  5. Starbucks has expressed interest in the corner now occupied by Chango.

  6. Kinda wish it would have hit the market first! Would have definitely put in an offer.

  7. in other news… what kind of business operates without a lease? That is not some type of victim-hood it’s a basic principle of operating ANY size business… you have to secure the rights to your location.

    • Often landlords force out restaurant tenants and reopen a place of their own in the same location……Chi Dynasty…..Juniors of Westwood. Ideally. a retailer will own their location, but at least they need a long solid lease to protect their investment and the goodwill built up through the years. Retail is hard enough without throwing out the earned following of local customers.

  8. I remember when we all had galleries there on street level and rent was about 500 bucks a month! Those were incredible times when everyone in the neighborhood would come out to celebrate an opening. Lots of kids running around, mariachi guitar players walking around, a big old chicken painted on the corner, corn growing where the new condos are. Good times. Good times. Everything changes. Life is about change;)

  9. My rent in 1999 for the Show Pony Store front was $400 and the old landlords paid my utilities cause they were dying to make it “sunset Junction” and wanted me to take the space so badly. I rented a 2 bedroom apt above with all utilities included for $600. Good old days for sure. Memories of a fun decade

    • Hey Kimme! We payed 375 for our Delirium-Tremens days ! My rent on Curran was 550 for a 2 bedroom 🙂

      Miss those down home days ! But still her since 1968 🙂

      Cheers to all who used to come to those awesome gallery Saturday nights 🙂


  10. Back to the future

    Ah, I remember the good old days when the Suku Suku Club was there…drunken fights on the street every night, gunshots on the weekends, throwing back boilermakers with Richard Ramirez (of the Night Stalker variety)….those were the days…

  11. Go to http://www.WeAreEchoPark.com to learn about how you can become informed about Land Use issues in Echo Park.

    The Neighborhood Council will be holding a FREE PUBLIC TRAINING provided by the Zoning and Plan Check departments of the City of LA. During the meeting you will learn about land use laws, the Community Plan for Echo Park, the limitations (or not) of new construction, renovations and adaptive re-use.

    SAVE the DATE!! November 5th, 2013. Check WeAreEchoPark.com for more details as they become available.

    • This looks very promising! Who is behind We Are Echo Park? I’d like to know more about this, please. I looked at the About section, but it is still under construction.

      Thanks in advance!

      • @EP Grl: The Free Land Use Training should be very informative. We are thrilled that our Neighborhood Council is opening up this opportunity to the public. These are complicated issues indeed.

        We have updated the WeAreEchoPark.com site to tell you more about who we are. You might even know one of us! Please check it out and send us an email, if you’d like.


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