EL SERENO –The Eastside Cafe, a Huntington Drive community space and collective, has been involved in many neighborhood causes, from promoting poetry and art to improving health and wellness. Now, the organizers of the 15-year-old group are rallying support and money for another cause: preventing their space from being sold to a real estate investor.
The collective said it had been working on a deal for a few years to buy the building at the corner of Huntington Drive North and Maycrest Avenue. But it discovered earlier this month that the owners had entered into escrow to sell the property to a real estate investor. After convincing the buyer to hold off for 10 days, the Eastside Cafe launched an ambitious online fundraiser that is aiming to attract $180,000 in donations by this weekend.
“We refuse to allow gentrification to displace and perceive our people as disposable,” said a posting on the Eastside Cafe Facebook page. “We are here today fighting to preserve our rights, autonomous zones and cultural empowerment, please join us in this fight!”
The $180,000 would “get the buyer to back out and [begin] the acquisition process with the donations we’ll be receiving,” according to a posting on the online fundraiser. However, it’s not clear how much it will cost to buy the building, which houses several other businesses.
With only a few days left to go before their May 13 deadline, the group has raised only about $16,000 of its $180,000 goal.
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