Makeover in the works for Frank’s Highland Park Camera building

Before: Franks’ Highland Park Camera pictured in 2014

Franks's camera pictured this week

After: Franks’s camera pictured this week | Katrina Alexy

HIGHLAND PARK — Passersby have been watching as the long-time home of Frank’s Highland Park undergoes a renovation, revealing a row of old windows and brickwork that had been covered up for decades by a large yellow and blue sign.

The building in the 5700 block of Figueroa Street sold last fall for $3.4 million. The new owners, who were profiled in last year’s Marketplace series on Highland Park gentrification, are seeking new tenants to fill up the brick building, with the first floor going for $22,500 a month, according to LoopNet.

A building permit issued last month allowed for the removal of an awning and plywood off the facade but required that the windows would remain in place. Meanwhile, next door, permits were granted for the removal and replacement of the wall and roof at the front of the building as part of a storefront remodel.

The work at Frank’s Camera comes after a few other nearby Figueroa storefronts have shed old signs and facades to reveal original brickwork and windows as part of individual renovation projects.

franks camera



After: Plywood covers old windows on Frank’s Highland Park camera building. New facade rising on building next door | Katrina Alexy


  1. $22,500 a month, here come $8.00 beers and for that they won’t be pouring you a pint.

    What kind of absurd profit margins does a business need to pay this kind of rent, customers will just be getting ripped off.

  2. Violet Ehrmantraut

    Are you sure that figure, $22k a month, is correct?

    • Hi. The estimate is based on the information posted on LoopNet. There is 7,500 square-feet of space on the ground floor that is being leased at $3 a-square-foot a month, according to LoopNet. That comes out to $22,500.

  3. If the rent is too steep for one business, they could try something like the Indiana Colony on Colorado in Old Town. A bunch of small purveyors set up shop (Pie Hole, Coolhaus, etc. etc.) and share the rent. It could be like a mini-Grand Central Market.

  4. A mini Grand Central Market would be welcome if they have healthy food of any sort. Indian food, Chinese food, Vietnamese food, California cuisine. Please, anything but another pasta/pizza place.

    • I’ve been talking about Indian on this strip food for ages and everybody scoffs! I think it would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood as well.

  5. How about GAP or Cheesecake Factory? Urban Outfitters would be cool too.

  6. Could the $22,000 figure be from when there was talk of Maison Martin Margiela and Rose Bakery taking over the space? The last I read is that when John Galliano took over the design helm these plans were squashed so the $22,000 figure is probably no longer accurate.

  7. 22500 is the square footage not the rent. According to Loopnet
    “The space features approximately 22,500 square feet (demisable) over three floors with exposed brick walls as well as 20 ft ceiling heights.”

    Ground Floor
    Space Available:
    7,500 SF
    Rental Rate:
    $3 /SF/Month

    • Do the math:
      7500 sq ft x $3 = $22,500

      • You don’t get $3 / sq ft for space in the back or upstairs.

        That’s a retail rent for a relatively small space.

        The rest will likely go in the $1-2 range.

        • Still, do the math. The ground floor is 7500 sq feet.

          7500 x $3 per sq foot = $22500.

          The entire space is 22,500 sq feet. The other spaces (top floor or basement are going for $1.50 or $2.00.)

  8. Great! They are getting rid of the cheap and tacky stucco, metal, and plastic that has been covering these beautiful buildings for so long. Figueroa has such beautiful 1 and 2 story buildings that need to be brought back to their former glory, Glad this is happening.

  9. Can anyone shed any light on the prospects of Intelligentsia Coffee opening on Figueroa? Is that still a realty. I know Silver Lake Wine is confirmed to open next moth.

  10. Awe inspiring to see the building fixed up. Cringe inspiring to hear the owners in their Marketplace interview.

  11. This transformation is going to be incredible. It’s almost surreal to see Figueroa awaken from years of blight. There is so much beauty hidden just out of sight. I cannot wait to see how this winds up. Amazing potential here finally hinting at being realized.

  12. I love that most of this is happening organically with none of the city’s bullshit economic development “tools” being used.

  13. The rates these interlopers are asking for means big chains who can afford the overhead. The “disco” T Mobile was just the start. Where was the “local” rage there?
    You want to fight “gentrification”?
    Putting stupid cardboard eviction notices on small loan based businesses run by “newcomers” or “white hipsters” is the least you should be concerned about.
    The real fight should be to keep Highland Park creative and diverse at a small business level, sadly it will go the way of Pasadena’s Old Town with giant glossy corporate stores that make HP look like everywhere USA.

    • So true. The real outrage should be against the corporations that have no real connection to the neighborhood at all, not small businesses owned by people who actually LIVE in the neighborhood!

    • Actually there was reaction to the T-Mobile store as they did not follow proper permitting procedures and will now have to redo facade work. Expect alrerations in the coming months. That said, the inside “disco” lighting is likely to remain as that is prescribed by T-Mobile corporate and not restricted by code.

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