Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Who will stay and who will go during Echo Park storefront shakeup?


Storefront ReportECHO PARK –– The check cashing store is gone. The vintage audio equipment shop is preparing to close soon. Customers at Lucy’s have been asking if the laundromat is going to stay open. There are lots of questions being asked these days about the fate of more than half a dozen Echo Park businesses now that a real estate firm is seeking new tenants for several buildings near the southwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street.

Continental Development Group, however, is also talking to some of the existing businesses about filling 22,000 square-feet of space of what it calls a “retail and restaurant compound” that went up for sale last year.  The existing businesses are a mix of national chains, Subway and Starbucks, and small businesses, Wells Tile & Antiques and Rewind Audio, which says it will move out of its Alvarado storefront at the end of spring but remain open online.  (The building that housed the former Pizza Buona and an adjacent shop is not included in the Continental properties.)

Renovations are in the works and the spaces could be ready as soon as late summer or early fall, according to leasing signs and Continental’s website.  An employee at Continental who did not want to reveal her name said the company is in discussions with some existing as well as new tenants but said that no promises have been made as to who will remain.  “We want to make it more of a place to go to for people in the community,” she said.

Meanwhile,  some Twitter users have said that some of the existing tenants could be moving out as soon as May. But on Monday, several employees of the existing shops said they had not heard about when or if their businesses will be closing. But they and many of their customers know that something is up.

“A lot of people are asking about it,” said an employee at Lucy’s. “But we don’t know what to say. We don’t know anything.”

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. Ooo, maybe some art school dropout with rich parents will open a boutique handmade knapsack store! *crosses fingers*

    • What would you prefer, Tommy? Starbucks or Subway? Take your pick, man. Willkommen to kapitalism. You lovin’ your coffee?

  2. olive garden here we come 🙁

  3. There’s gotta be about 10 empty storefronts along that stretch of Sunset Boulevard – this is getting ridiculous!

    • Agreed. Its not fair to the neighborhood to saddle us with all this vacant retail.

      These commercial landlords need to dial back asking rents. These buildings don’t have parking, big chains are not going to rent them.

      • Let’s hope not.

      • The neighborhood?

        Wait… because you rent an apartment there, you think you should have some sort of “vested interest” in what someone who actually OWNS something in the neighborhood is doing with their property?


        Less talk, more do. Open up a business that’s going to bring in enough money to pay the rent owners are charging.

        • All these talk (esp. in the Eastsider comments section) about how renters should not have any stake in the neighborhood is totally ridiculous. Renters or owners, it doesn’t matter – people who live in the neighborhood will be the ones patronizing these businesses and contributing to the local economy. The local residents, both renters and homeowners, are what makes a neighborhood, not the offsite corporations that own property.

          • Actually, it’s not ridiculous. Clearly you’re not patronizing your local businesses enough. Are you going to the local hardware store, or Home Depot? Are you paying more to a local pizza place? or are you going where it saves you a buck? Because if you are, why are Pizza Buona & Mother Dough gone?

            There’s so much yapping from locals about the flavor of their neighborhood disappearing, but it’s so easy to blame the owners of property instead of looking at themselves. This is a Capitalist society, Hipster. If you owned rental or commercial property you’d raise rent just like anyone else according to the “heat quotient” of your neighborhood and what you could get away with.

            And THAT is where what I said about owners/renters proves itself. You really don’t have any say in the neighborhood. because you, as a tenant can be easily replaced. When you own something, you have a stake. When you don’t, you’re just taking up space.

  4. I was told by owners of the shops that they were given 2 months to move out. Basically the rents will raise 3-6 times what they are paying. It is their choice if they want to stay, but with that kind of rent hike, there is really no choice.

  5. I’d like to see Lucy’s Laundromat tone down the colors they use in their signage. When I drive by their location the images that come to mind are lemonade, corn dogs and clown cars anything but clean clothes. The steel fence that runs along the Sunset side of the building shouts “STAY OUT”. If there is any place that should be championing water conservation, I would think it would be Lucy’s. I would think the property holders (isn’t it Wells Fargo?) would have done away with the un-useable grass lawn. Lucy’s is a great social / community-based business and is needed in our neighborhood. But hey Lucy, act like you’re part of the family.
    And while I’m on the subject………. If anyplace that needs to relocate, it’s that car-nival of a carwash on the corner. Anything those people do to improve the look of that corner ends up making it look worse. Every time I go by there if I do look at their signage, I think wow, the raised their prices again.

  6. Honestly, who gives a flying crow anymore, ECHO PARK AS WE KNEW IT Is DEAD!
    R.I.P ECHO PARK, the ghost troll the streets every night.

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