New restaurant spaces planned as “gentrification creep” heads west on York Boulevard

york and munson

Former auto body shops would be transformed into restaurant spaces

EAGLE ROCK – The groundwork is being set to turn a former York Boulevard auto repair shop on the border of Eagle Rock and Highland Park into a cluster of restaurants.

Two buildings located on a 17,000-square-foot property at the corner of York and Munson Avenue  are currently up for sale for $2.3 million, with the current owner  in the process of seeking building permits to create what the LoopNet listing describes as a future “Highland Park social hub for foodies.”  Apparently it would be up to the buyers to finish the job and find tenants for a free-standing, corner restaurant and five, smaller takeout, fast food or “fast casual” restaurants in the back building.

Leasing agent Ante Trinidad said the spaces would be suitable for chain restaurants, independent operators or a combination of both.

The property owners are counting on the gentrification that has transformed York Boulevard to expand to the west in the direction of Eagle Rock.  Occidental College, for example, earlier this year purchased a row of York Boulevard storefronts in part to attract new retail and restaurant amenities closer to the campus.

“It’s gentrification creep,” said Trinidad of York’s, block-by-block transformation.  “It’s a natural progression.”

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  1. I was in Portland recently. They have food cart pods all over the place – basically parking lots that are now filled with six different stationary food trucks, complete with lots of outdoor seating. Some have outdoor produce markets and occasional live music. Some of the carts even sold booze! Now that would be a “social foodie” mecca. The food is cheap and there’s a lot of variety.

    Too bad food cart pods aren’t a thing in LA. Something like that would kick butt on York. However, it can’t work when properties are that expensive!

    • Agreed… there’s this (https://twitter.com/eatatfigandyork) but it’s not a permanent fixture like the ones you mention all over Portland.

    • I long for the day when LA has anything resembling the food truck corner on Hawthorne and 12th Ave.

    • Agreed, I was just visiting Paris and they had a similar set up. 8-10 small open-air restaurants serving a variety of food with their own seating areas in a courtyard location off of the boulevard. Rents are so expensive now young chefs/business owners have difficulty starting out, it would be wonderful to see them get help here but the US is a savagely capitalist country.

  2. Is turning a closed down auto repair shop into a restaurant automatically gentrification? Can’t we call it revitalization? Giving new life to a neighborhood, not necessarily changing its class structure.

    • I guess you could but that wouldn’t fit the narrative of the eastsider. The buzz word “gentrification” is their equivalent of “if it bleeds it leads”. Notice how they even chose the word “creep” to go along? Pretty obvious…

      • “Leasing agent Ante Trinidad said the spaces would be suitable for chain restaurants, independent operators or a combination of both.”

        “It’s gentrification creep,” said Trinidad of York’s, block-by-block transformation. “It’s a natural progression.”

      • Agreed. I can’t help but feel that “gentrification” has become more about racially driven undertones than socioeconomic status. I personally know both white and latino business owners that have been pushed out of Highland Park due to increasing rent, yet one group constantly cries out due to the injustice dealt by “hipsters” moving in, “gentrifying” the neighborhood and the other simply sees rental prices rise due to urban revitalization.

        I know, I know, I know – It’s a lot more complicated – bla bla bla. But sometimes, the academic explanations are difficult to swallow when people in masks put signs on local business stating that they are not welcome in the neighborhood.

        • There are two issues facing many in the “anti-gentrification” camp.

          1) Hispanic Urban Balkanization

          2) Infantilized Immigrant Communism

    • If the new restaurants that move in are given a fair rent, then yes.. it is ‘revitalization’ and not gentrification..
      But do you honestly think any of the rents are going to be low, or even fair, crucial for a first-year food establishment? HAHAHAHAHA!

    • HIghland Park Neighbor

      It IS gentrification if long time residents have been displaced, and/or long time residents cannot afford to frequent these new establishments.

      • I hope it becomes a Bouchon

        • York is cooler than Colorado Blvd

        • When it’s a requirement for a business to check in with neighbors on what they can and can’t afford to frequent, then I think we’d really have a problem. Let the businesses be the judge without ‘gentrification shame’.

          Also, the article mentions fast casual so I don’t think most people would be unable to dine here, but so what? I don’t have a right to afford to eat at every restaurant. I don’t have a right to buy a house where I grew up and, most importantly, I don’t think I do.

          This site is currently a dead space (and another auto mechanic eyesore) that would eventually provide jobs and could create a sense of
          community. I agree with positive forward movement as revitalization and this could be an example of that if big chains don’t move in and smaller businesses are given a platform to thrive.

          Looks like it’s all about championing the underdog which seems to be the way you’d want to go. Highland Park Neighbor, no one is entitled when time and change are a constant variable and when everyone would like to see time and change grow into something positive.

      • There are plenty of places for community ember of all income levels/tastes to eat. Not everything has to be cheap!

  3. Ton of potential if they can get the right tenants to lease the space. Gourmet food trucks can easily set up brick and mortar location and can attract oxy students and the newcomers. Upgrade of Highland Park for sure.

  4. If they make food place I hope they took the gas tanks out.

  5. A good Idian food place PLEASE! Fresh sushi place PLEASE. HEALTHY FOOD! We have enough pizza, pasta, and tacos.
    This neighborhood is SO READY for more food options:) Thank you.

    • Agreed.

      Sushi & Indian restaurants would be great additions to the neighborhood.

      Some more variety without having to go downtown or to Pasadena would be pretty sweet.

    • Yes, INDIAN, for God’s sake! How ridiculous that there isn’t any Indian food in Highland Park or Eagle Rock.

  6. Kogi or Boiling Crab!

  7. This is great news. It’s a real eye sore. Just give it a couple of days before the Highland Park Neighborhood Council facebook page includes this article as part of their ongoing anti-gentriffcation stance.

  8. Don’t listen to all this buzz about gentrification being a race issues. Many of my good friends in the neighborhood who own their homes have benefited greatly from highland park being gentrified. It ain’t all the white people that own homes here. IT’s a social class thing.

  9. With it looking as though no deal came through for Maison Margiela and Paris and London’s Rose Bakery to occupy the old Frank’s Camera building on Figueora my hope is Rose Bakery will consider this location as a stand alone location without being attached to Margiela. I think they would do very well as a stand alone and with Galliano heading the creative efforts at Margiela the Highland Park location might never happen. With Galliano and his partner Alexis Roche living in Los Angeles now I have a feeling they are going to push for the Margiela flagship to be closer to their home which means the store will most likely be in Beverly Hills or thereabouts as boring as that may be.

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