ECHO 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.”
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