Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Echo Park hardware store prepares to shuts down ahead of new development

One of Echo Park’s last independent hardware stores, The Reliable Do It Center,  is preparing to close by the end of the month as a developer plans to build more than 200 apartments on the Sunset Boulevard site.

The hardware store has announced the upcoming closure with a combination of ads as well as black and white signs that have been hung on the side of the sides of store’s buildings.  The upcoming closure of the Reliable Do it Center, which sits in the 1200 block of Sunset near Marion Avenue, means that only one remaining independent hardware store, J&J Trading Post on Glendale Boulevard, will remain open in Echo Park.

The Reliable Do It Center sits on part of the 2.5-acre site where Canadian developer  Aragon Properties  plans to build more than 200 units of housing and ground-floor retail space.

The 70-foot tall project has met with opposition from neighbors, who have created an online petition and created a website – WeAreEchoPark.com – to support their efforts.

Early rendering of Sunset And Everett Apartments /Aragon Properties

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  1. I didn’t know that place was still open, every time I tried to go there it was closed.

    • There are closed only on Saturday to observe the Sabath. They are open every day until 4:00pm. They have been there for-ever and will be missed. It’s two brothers that own the business. What a shame. Can’t wait for the additional traffic nightmare! Very greedy developers.

  2. What Palmero said.

  3. this looks like a disaster waiting to happen. Who would really want to move in this place? unless, it’s dirt cheap.

  4. Welcome 200-400 more cars clogging traffic in the neighborhood.

    Try and imagine how bad that will be on a daily basis.

    Then imagine it during Dodger season home games!

    Thanks City Council!

    • 200-400 cars is usually bad but in this part of LA, it really isn’t that bad. If anything, having more people live in this part of EP will help foster its growth. This part of EP is kinda sad. And what’s 200-400 cars during a Dodger game? Can’t image it getting much worse.

      And I second what everyone else is saying. I have thought for the longest time that this hardware store has closed down.

    • You obviously don’t know the difference between local and through-traffic, and how MIXED-USE PROMOTES WALKABILITY!!!

      You want more traffic clogging projects? Then keep up your efforts to downscale every project that actually exacerbates more traffic!

      Cars for these residents will be underground, and cars will be arriving/leaving here at DIFFERENT TIMES of the day. Not every resident will be a road hog. As a matter of fact, that I’ve seen through empirical observations, ground retail reduces short trip commutes by local residents.

      Downtown LA is less than 2 miles away, and here you are crying about such a “monstrosity”?

      Get real! You are in a global city called LOS ANGELES!!!

      • and / Man also

      • Amen. Preach on. These Nimbys dont realize that they are actually shooting themselves in the foot. This stretch of Sunset is a freaking dump and thankfully a developer is willing to come in an improve it. Hopefully someone will come along soon and buy the club and the gang infested apartment orange complex on the opposite side of the street and redo that portion as well

      • There are only 17 parking space allotted for the retail shops and for visitor parking. And what about parking for the one bedroom/studio units that might be occupied by 2 people instead of just one?

        Maybe if you stopped getting so angry and defensive, you’d be able to see why people who live in this immediate area of Echo Park are worried. In a neighborhood with a lot of turn-of-the-century homes without designated off-street parking, Echo Park already has a limited amount of available street parking. This development will place further strain on residents who struggle to find parking during MLB season, during major events, or just on the average weekday.

        The developers haven’t really listened to community members and residents’ concerns about the scope of this project as it relates to available parking. Stop yelling and try to understand where people are coming from. As I understand it, we’re not asking for this project to be tabled — but instead for the project to be downsized so that traffic/parking isn’t severely impacted.

    • This area needs density. That do-it center and adjacent is kind of a useless blight. The only hope I have is that most of the people who choose to live here will use the bike lanes on sunset to get downtown and to echo park rather than mindlessly drive cars. The first floor hopefully will have businesses that actually serve the local area… coffee shop. cleaners, market… hopefully. but you know how LA is….

    • Los Angeles is growing. The new residents have to live somewhere. Greater density means less cars. We either do what we’ve been doing the last 50 years ie build further and further into the suburbs or we build close to where the jobs and the attractions are.

      If these new people move into those apartments they can walk to Dodger Stadium, they can walk, bike or take public transit to their jobs downtown. If we keep them away from Echo Park then for sure they’ll have to drive to Echo Park in order to get to Dodger Stadium and Downtown.

  5. Seriously thought it had been closed for years.

  6. Sunset needs a streetcar from Chintown to vermont.

    • There are multiple buses that travel that route every day. Are people in LA really that blind to the giant buses on Sunset Blvd every day and how there is no difference between them and a streetcar?

      • Actually, there is a difference. Apart from the use of a streetcar being greener and MORE cost-effective in the long-run, streetcars are a lot more inviting to those who wouldn’t typically take the bus. Additionally, they would spur development along all of the neglected stretches of Sunset. There’s enough bus and car traffic back and forth along Sunset to warrant a streetcar as Sunset really is the main traffic artery. To boot, most people who live off of Sunset most likely recreate along Sunset, so I can see the streetcar being hugely successful outside of work hours.

    • Shouldn’t end at Chinatown. It should go directly to Union Station so it connects to the overall regional transit picture.

  7. I imagine that there are going to be more than 1 tenant per unit. They will be looking to park on street. Parking is already an issue in the neighborhood, especially on game days. This is a poorly thought out project for this neighborhood.

    • At some point, no one will be able to park anywhere, and so they’ll stop trying. That’s when you become a city. There is no parking in NYC or Boston, either. The solution is to just not own a car. You can’t keep trying to keep people out of the city to make room for your damn cars. People are what will make this city. Not cars.

      • But until that happens what is the likelihood that, without reasonable parking allowances, a local business is going to take a chance and spend $3 a sf. on retail space at this site? Its a transition period; there has to be parking or the retail will never develop.

        Why don’t you come to the meetings and participate? See you there. gepenc.org

        • Well it would seem that the planning department, the developer, and the bank funding this all disagree… otherwise it wouldn’t be built.

          Mandating suburban levels of parking in the city (where land is limited) just drives the cost of construction up. This is why all these new buildings are so ugly, expensive, and often span entire city blocks – they have to build industrial scale parking garages, maximize FAR and cut corners on design just to make a profit. Requiring more parking will only exacerbate those issues.

          The way I see it, Sunset is a major mass transit corridor in the middle of a big city. If anything, the parking requirements should just be waived completely in locations like this with decent transit options, and we can let the free market sort out how much parking is or isn’t needed..

          I think that would be a smart (and proven) way to create more affordable urban housing and storefronts that local businesses can actually afford. Just look at all the charming pre-war walking corridors in the area (Sunset Junction, the area over by the Echo, Vermont in Los Feliz, etc.) The mixed use buildings typically have minimal parking, small businesses on the ground floor, and relatively cheap apartments above.

      • it costs $50 to park a car at Fenway Park for a Boston Redsox if you can get there and get a spot.

      • True but ugly buildings that are too tall for the neighborhood and ruin people’s views suck. We aren’t NY, we’re LA with vistas.

  8. @theeastsiderla ” Echo Park’s last independent hardware stores” is not a correct statement by any means. This is a VERY LARGE company that its own website claims that it has 3800 stores and says its the “worlds largest hardware store”. By making the statement “One of Echo Park’s last independent hardware stores” and then following it up with “that only one remaining independent hardware store, J&J Trading Post on Glendale Boulevard, will remain open in Echo Park.” is beyond misleading to your readers. The notion that an independent hardware store is being shut down due to a condo complex plays on the fears, anger and other forms of discontent of your readers.
    Question is why would your mislead your readers like this? Is this just an error due to lack of investigating? Or does this play into the larger narrative of your site that pits new vs old that creates comment wars?

    I use to be a meant to a lot of people on this site but I have learned that creating drama for dramas sake did nothing for the world around me and for myself. It was childish, ignorant and useless. I apologize to anyone I have offended.

    We have one take on this planet, lets be great to each other while we are here. .

    • @KittenFace. They may have a website but this store is independently owned by two brothers who have been there for a very long time. Have you ever gone in there and talked to them? I have and know them very well. I suggest you go in before they close and check them out. Seriously!

    • I agree to say “independent” would need further explanation. They are independent owners of a very large franchise.

  9. This project has the potential to really upgrade that part of Sunset. I always felt that Sunset, as the spine between DT and Hollywood, should be more reflective of its worldwide reputation. But unfortunately the stretch between DT and EP and the stretch between SL Blvd and Sunset Junction are so ugly and trashy looking.

  10. @the eastsider. Don’t listen to KittenFace. She doesn’t even know the history of this Store and the brothers who own it. My husband has been going to this store for a very long time. His father was a contractor and my husband worked for him in construction and would buy supplies when it was originally called Reliable Sash and Door. They will be missed. I am assuming the timely was right for the brothers in regards to retiring. I am so tired of people with their negative comments and just wanted to send this message to you. Thanks for keeping us informed. I am know leaving to go pick up supplies for my kitchen cabinets from them. You wouln’t believe how much we have bought from them. 🙂

  11. i never even knew it was a hardware store, let alone open for business. i’d always assumed it was an empty building.

  12. Not sure I understand the business model of having a store that looked empty and was open only during the hours working people (who have money to buy tools) were, you know, working.

  13. LAND USE meeting tonight at 7 pm. Stop typing and start coming to the meetings! Check the GEPENC website. On the agenda tonight– Discussion of a potential Community Design Overlay and ICO for the Sunset corridor in Echo Park.

    Thank you to the Eastsider for raising awareness regarding the community effort to have MEANINGFUL INPUT in the design of this project.

    @Dion — There are no NIMBYs here. We all want *something good* to go onto that site. For those of us who live nearby, we are very concerned about the failed ground floor retail nearby (CanvasLA, Orsini) and we share the City’s concern that inadequate parking and lackluster storefront/cafe opportunities may not get us the “street activation” necessary to make this area a success. We are NOT FIGHTING against this project. We are fighting for it to align with the Community Plan, especially with regard to Character, Scale and Massing. We are negotiating with the developer, but they have very high profile lawyers (AGD no less) who aren’t accustomed to giving up a whole lot to the communities where these projects go in. Example: IL VILAGGIO TUSCANO in Sherman Oaks. They battled this firm all the way to court just to get a modest list of community benefits. http://stopilvillagiotoscano.wordpress.com

    @J Man– Aragon’s traffic engineers have calculated that the building will generate at least 2,429 DAILY trips. That’s with all the credits for pass-by and locals. No impacts, really? That’s what the report says. I wonder how many of those will cut straight through the residential streets in the HPOZ?

    LOOK HERE: You can see the Full Set of Architectural Plans and Renderings, as well as the Soils Report and the Traffic Study. http://www.scribd.com/WeAreEchoPark

    Eastsider readers: By-standers are useless. Please get involved and come to these meetings. Do your part to shape the place where you live and tell the Councilmember that you are concerned about the pace and nature of development in your neighborhood. You elected Gil Cedillo. He also sits on the PLUM committee for the City Council. Over 1200 of you have signed our petition. CD #1 needs to hear from you directly. Please do this:

    1) Tell him you are concerned about ______ development project because ________.
    2) Tell him you are in support of the petition to adhere to the Community Plan
    3) Tell him you would like to see his office participate with local groups to enact an ordinance for a Community Design Overlay as proposed in the Community Plan for Echo Park.

    Send your e-mail to:
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    Please copy us too! [email protected]

  14. I smell a GAP coming to Echo Park….

  15. To the people who are voicing their concerns on this stretch of Echo Park. We couldn’t agree more about there NEEDING to be business and density here, but how far is too far?

    Let me ask you a few questions:
    – Why do you live in Echo Park and not downtown if you don’t mind the size of the structures and massing?
    – Why don’t you live on the Wilshire Corridor if you don’t mind large massing apartment buildings and offices?
    – Have you been to the businesses at the ORSINI? oh wait, they are not being rented out because the company threw up a building. Same thing with Canvas LA, which are within 100 feet of this proposed site.
    – What type of businesses do you want there?

    This neighborhood is one of the OLDEST neighborhoods in the city and we are only asking that it be protected and represented properly in it’s development. We are asking for investors to listen to the neighbors and walk a couple of blocks and see what is out there.

    We know this entire corridor will be built within the next 5 years. Let’s protect it and make it an amazing place for neighbors congregate. Not stucco buildings that are thrown up for profit. Would you rather have a Sunset Junction feel or a North Hollywood feel with Domino’s, Starbucks and Subway. THIS is what we are asking. So join the efforts and stop sitting behind your computer.

    PS… Did you know there is another 70 foot building being constructed at 2000 West Sunset? No one will air their grievances until it is TOO late. Lets protect this area and create something that will live on.


    Protect the neighborhood and create buildings that we will be proud of.

  16. People need to get involved as much as they are able. This is happening all over Echo Park and the city. People in the neighborhoods are not being informed properly if at all and certainly not in any other languages other than English. This will tower over the pre-existing palm trees. If you take a walk by Guisado’s you’ll see how huge that is! The traffic reports are not conclusive and believe that is due to some sort of corruption. No one wants another Orsini that will end up feeling like a Beverly Center at the gateway from DTLA to Echo Park, only the Canadian developers. Locals will not be pleased. The process by which they are conducting themselves is not in the interest of the community and does not adhere to the community plan.

  17. A few ponts to a couple POVs stated.
    The Reliable Do It Center is a family owned business and has been for a very long time. While I have long questioned their business decision to not conduct business on Saturday, a day that is huge for the average Renter or Property Owner to do around the house Honey Do and such projects, I have no right to question their religious beliefs and never have. At some point the Sons, whom took it over from their father, bought into the “Do It Center” franchise business structure. It is still just them running it. The brothers are nice guys and I too have purchased many a cabinet, paint, supplies from them with the idea that they were local businessmen and I wanted to support them as such. BUT, one day I had a conversation with the more controlling brother about the homes they own right above the Do It Center(3) and that have their entrances on Everett St. I wanted to know if they could maybe do something about how run down the front home looked, I mean they own a hardware store for F sakes. He hemmed and hawed and gripped the property didn’t bring in enough rent to even pay the taxes, the people had been there a very long time……BS!!!! Meanwhile I and many others on Everett were spending thousands of dollars, a large amount at their store, to clean up our properties and the neighborhood and he didn’t give a rats ass, more or less. Not only was/is the one front house on Everett St so unsightly, but the two back houses, which are connected to the dilapidated staircase that runs up from Sunset Blvd right next to the last building at the West end of the Do It Center complex, was a SERIOUS Gang hideout for YEARS and a massive root of many a criminal problem to all surrounding streets constantly that had to endure and fight against. I’ve lived in this hood since 2000, and witnessed first hand the dangerous activities(shootings, drug dealing, theft/burglaries that spilled out from those two homes that the Do It Center Bros own. When I again, as a concerned neighbor, owner and patron of their business asked if he could do anything, he completely dismissed me and said those people were good people. Well, that was the end of my shopping at their “neighborhood” hardware store.
    Through the years the brothers’ father purchased much of the surrounding properties that many of you are describing as blight, 17 lots in total. Now, after letting them run down and making what money they could with the hardware store from the surrounding residence, they are doing, in my opinion one last big nose snubbing to us by selling all of those lots at one time to one developer, from Canada, instead of selling a couple clusters or individual lots to people that could have the opportunity to create something on a smaller scale, whether remodeling the old buildings or something new. Which would add much more value and style to our historic neighborhood than cashing out all at once to a company that is going to drop a Cruise ship sized short term living monstrosity that is going to be 70 feet tall and span half the way up Sunset from Everett St to Elysian Park Way. The bros have put in their time and deserve to retire, but I and many of the other residence that live around their rundown properties take it as just another stick in the eye for them to sell the way they are greedily selling and sailing off into the sunset, leaving us left with the shit bag. WE DO NOT WANT AN ORSINI monstrosity of this scale and style being forced on our historic neighborhood and being the gateway to Echo Park and Angelino Heights.
    It’s not fair for the City of Los Angeles to allow 17 different lots to be lot lined to great such a massive building with such density. People that speak of density in such glowing terms, go to Orsini, or Jeff Palmers’ three new monster “Resort Apartment” complexes on Temple and Fig and soon Temple and Union. Orsini is not fully occupied. We do not need more projects of this size, especially right here, where traffic on a normal weekday morn or afternoon is very heavy. You cannot just sight needs for density and ignore the specific fact and nuances of each situation, unfortunately SB1818 is a poisonous part of these equations as well.
    Just so people know, there is one 70 unit project looking to come on line east to Elysian Park Way, on Sunset Blvd, and other developer looking to build nearly the same size building right next to Guisados. SO, it is not just about this Aragon Sunset/Everett Cruise Liner, it’s a culmination working to a perfect storm that will choke that major traffic artery that is Sunset Blvd.
    This project will set precedence for all the Developers that are lining up to capitalized on our work to cherish and enliven our old neighborhood of Echo Park.

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