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There’s no place for a pawn shop in gentrifying Echo Park

pawnshop

Storefront ReportECHO PARK — The display windows of the scruffy Echo Park Pawn Shop were mostly filled with power tools, jewelry and signs offering to buy gold. On Saturday, however, the display windows were empty as owners Anna Moiseyev and her son, Alex, finished cleaning out the shop after the landlord did not want to renew their lease.  “They want us out,”  said Alex, whose late father took over the existing pawn shop more than two decades ago.  But the departure of the Echo Park Pawn Shop from the historic Jensen’s Recreation Center is not all that surprising.

One by one, the adjoining Sunset Boulevard storefronts on either side of the Echo Park Pawn Shop have been renovated and replaced with new tenants . The high-ceiling interior of Sage Vegan Bistro is often busy with customers sharing plates of jackfruit nachos or ordering $3.99 scoops of vegan ice cream.  A few storefronts down, San Francisco-based Blue Bottle Coffee, where a cup of drip coffee usually goes for $3,  is preparing to open a shop.  Meanwhile, upstairs,  450-square-foot studio apartments with wood floors and explosed brick walls are now being rented out for $1,725 a month.

There has been a pawn shop in the Jensen’s Recreation Center for at least 40 years, said Anna Moiseyev.  There’s even a large, “Echo Park Pawn Shop” sign painted on the west side of the brick building.  But as the neighborhood has gentrified, the pawn shop has struggled.  Business was good about five years ago but then it kept going “down, down” to the point where the revenue was just enough to cover the bills, she said.

“Our customers are Hispanic, but Hispanics left because the rents are so high, ” said Moiseyev, who is moving the business to a new pawn shop on Vermont Avenue near Koreatown.

Alex Moiseyev notes that many long time businesses along Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park are moving out as landlords raise rents. “They are just putting in new business and changing the area.”

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40 comments

  1. Slow Monday? Just need to stir up some sh*t? What’s the purpose of this article? Create division and anger within the community?

    • The purpose is to let the community know what is going on. Whats wrong with that?

      • That can be done without the loaded vocabulary. “There’s no place for a pawn shop in gentrifying Echo Park”, is a prime example. Click bait.

        This is informational:

        “There has been a pawn shop in the Jensen’s Recreation Center for at least 40 years, said Anna Moiseyev. There’s even a large, “Echo Park Pawn Shop” sign painted on the west side of the brick building. But as the neighborhood has gentrified, the pawn shop has struggled. Business was good about five years ago but then it kept going “down, down” to the point where the revenue was just enough to cover the bills, she said.”

        • Can’t wait until The Eastsider follows the cue of Curbed and dumps comments.

          • I thought the comments section was the only reason people came here, because the articles are mostly terrible.

        • I think the title captures the subject matter perfectly.

          If the pawn business has gone south it’s because the current residents of the neighborhood aren’t spending their money there. If a shop selling $4 scoops of ice cream is staying in business it’s because the current residents of the neighborhood are spending their money there.

          Can you infer something about what’s happening to the neighborhood by comparing these two facts? You sure can.

          Is this something neighborhood residents might be interested in? If they’re reading a local news website I can’t imagine they aren’t.

        • 40 years a Pawn Shop in the Jensen Building; not true, it used to be a nice and beautiful high quality gift store and also a toy store where used to be the Bowling, both owned by the same people. When the Pawn Shop came was much later and was a surprise by the community.

  2. That place is a shithole, straight up. A better run pawnshop might survive, but not this one.

    Did you ever go in there? Piles of junk, I don’t know how they survived this long. I’m happy to see them go.

    Just like crown shoes…the world doesn’t owe you a living. If you don’t keep your eyes open and manage your business, you are toast.

  3. i hope they put in a coffee shop there.
    Seriously, i really have a hard time finding a cup of coffee on that stretch of sunset in echo park.
    Or the stretch up the actual echo park blvd
    Or the stretch that bleeds into silverlake.

  4. Good! That’s a beautiful old building that deserves to have some classier storefronts than a tacky ghetto pawn shop.

  5. Earnest P. Worrell

    The name Echo Park should be eliminated as well. Whatever you thought this place was, it isn’t the same anymore. Let’s all move on and pay through our asses!

    • Amen earnest

    • Aldo Thee Apache

      Oh noes, oh poo. Teh hipsters are closing my favoritist pawn shop EVERS!!!
      It has so much historical significance, why I remember when I was kid growing up (AKA6 months ago) my abuelita used to sell our belongings to buy heroin. Now where is she going to go? Stupid gentrifiers wanting to uplift the neighborhood!!!!

  6. I’ve been to a pawn shop 3 times in my life, each time to check for stolen property. Bye!

  7. LOL…“Our customers are Hispanic, but Hispanics left because the rents are so high, ” said Moiseyev, who is moving the business to a new pawn shop on Vermont Avenue near Koreatown.

    Hey Moiseyev, GO F*CK YOURSELF! I think PEOPLE left because the rents are so high you stupid douche bag. Are you implying that Caucasians are in Echo Park are not in the lower income bracket? Stupid jerk-off.

    • Yep, I’m a caucasian and I left Echo Park because the rent was too damn high.

    • And how racist of her to imply that only hispanics frequent pawn shops.

      • should be happy when a pawn shop isn’t doing well. it means that people have jobs and crime is down. it means even the musicians are able to pay rent. it means less people have crack addictions. and also who cares. most of the time pawn shops are off the main drag. off by the porno stores and liquor stores.

  8. Culturally Unwelcoming

    There’s no place for a pawn shop in gentrifying Echo Park, and that’s entirely a good thing.

  9. I feel, it’s a damn shame. Echo Park, which was once home for years to many has become so overpriced and unaffordable. Rents everywhere have sky-rocketed. Businesses that were as comfortable as your favourite sweater are gone. Where i all this going? We are seeing condos and town housed pop up everywhere. Us, old timers look and laugh at these new-comers(Pilgrims) and think of what that little parcel of land once was. A weed patch, an old `20s’ studio, someones’ home., our school, a favorite burger stand. Yup, people ARE angry, their memories and homes are gradually being destroyed and old times can no longer afford the neighborhood. Think about it…some day this could be you.

    • Should have bought that weed patch when it was dirt cheap. The world doesn’t stand still just so old timers can stay comfortable. Everything changes, and you need to look ahead and prepare.

    • I doubt many locals would have pleasant memories of a dumpy pawnshop run by Russians who don’t live in the neighborhood.

    • “Us, old timers look and laugh at these new-comers(Pilgrims) and think of what that little parcel of land once was.”

      And kick yourself in the ass for not having invested in that little parcel.

      No foo like an old foo.

    • “some day this could be you”

      I’m pretty much assuming that.

    • exactly. thank u.. csid.. u are the only compassionate person here. the rest of u people are everything that is wrong with gentrification.. wow.. i’m so sad for los angeles

  10. LOOK EVERY ONE, AND MARK MY WORDS IT WILL TAKE TIME AND NOT TO FAR AWAY BUT WAIT FOR NEXT ECONOMIC RECESSION THAT IS ALMOST HERE ALL THIS PROPERTY OWNERS WILL PAY FOR ALL THIS, ALL THIS CUSTOMERS, RENTERS, AND COMMUNITY THAT HELP THEM SURVIVE ON THIS PASS RECESSION AND NOW THAT ECONOMY IS GOOD THEY KICK THEM IN THE ASS AND KISS ASS OF THE NEW PEOPLE, MARK MY WORDS.

    • ONCE THE ANCIENT ALIEN ANNUNAKI REPTILIANS TAKE OVER FINANCIAL MARKETS THEY KICK THEM IN ASS AND KISS ASS OF RENTERS MARK MY WORDS!

    • What are you trying to say?

      • Aldo Thee Apache

        MARK MY WORDS CTHULU WILL RISE FROM THE DEPTHS. THOSE THAT MANGLE GRAMMAR WHILE WHINING ABOUT THE “GOOD OLD DAYS” (WHATEVER THOSE ARE) IN ALL CAPS WILL BE LAUGHED AT AND IGNORED.

  11. LOOK I TYPE IN CAPS AND I LIKE TO EAT DRIED FRUIT! LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT’S COMING: WE WILL ALL PAY THE PRICE WHEN A LARGE SUCKLING PIG RUNS THROUGH THE STREETS EATING DISCARDED CORN ON THE COB. IN FACT BEFORE THEY HAD TOILET PAPER THEY USED THE COBS TO WIPE THEIR ASSES. HENCE THE TERM CORNHOLED! AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE ALL GONNA BE! YOU MARK MY WORDS, WHEN THE PAWN SHOP GOES THE WHOLE THING FALLS APART. IT’S LIKE DROPPING THROUGH A TRAP DOOR TO ANOTHER LEVEL. AND SPEAKING OF LEVELS OF REALITY I WANT TO WARN YOU THAT THIS WHOLE EAST SIDE NEIGHBORHOODS IS A SIMULATION OF SOME SUPERIOR BEING. SO BEWARED.

    • LONG TIME RESIDENTS OF EAST SIDE NEIGHBORHOODS BEING DISPLACED BY REPTILIAN OVERLORDS DISGUISED AS WHITE HIPSTERS!! DONT BE FOOLED THEY ARE ANCIENT ALIEN ANNUNAKI REPTILIANS HERE TO PUSH OUT MEXICANS AND MAKE WAY FOR SIMULATED REALITY WHOLE FOODS ALIEN RACE!!!

  12. You know you’re in a ignorant neighborhood when people whine and complain about a pawn shop closing.

  13. In the interest of humanity, something invariably lost in internet comment sections, I think it possible to see that it is a probably a positive sign for a neighborhood that a second-rate pawn shop is shutting its doors; and, at the same time, feel empathy for residents and former residents who do not recognize their old home. It is is possible to like certain aspects of the New Echo Park; and to recognize that this new permutation of the neighborhood comes with some negative aspects as well. I really don’t think any of the changes in our community can be properly framed through a binary good/bad argument.

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