Friday, October 21, 2016

Chain restaurants? Boutiques? What’s in store for Echo Park’s Mohawk Collective?


Storefront ReportECHO PARK — What is the Mohawk Collective? That’s the name of the neighborhood’s new restaurant and retail center now taking shape in the buildings that once housed Lucy’s coin-laundry, Wells Tile & Antiques  and several other businesses on Sunset Boulevard near Mohawk Street.

After the mass-closing of the businesses in April and May, the buildings have been quickly gutted as the folks behind Mohawk Collective,  Continental Development Group,  search for tenants to fill 11 spaces as well as a small area for pop-up retailers along Alvarado. In fact, three of spaces have already been leased, according to marketing materials. (The building at the corner that onced housed Pizza Buona is not part of the project)

Building permits say the former coin laundry spaces are being converted to restaurants. But will these spaces be filled with neighborhood outpost of major national chains or, upscale indy retailers and restaurants?  The company has not responded to an Eastsider request for details.  The Mohawk Collective  “look book,” however, says

“The project oers an unrivaled opportunity for creative restaurant and retail space on one of the most sought out specialty retail and dining neighborhoods.”

Mohawk Collective is expected to open next spring.

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. oh godddddddd

  2. I must say I was rather excited seeing the metal removed from the Wells/La Popular building and the brick + upper floor exposed. Hoping for the best.

  3. I imagine the restaurants will be pretty bougie… but the pop up retail component sounds interesting (especially if it mean cheaper rents for small businesses willing to share walls and utilities.)

  4. Charles M Shorty

    Better than a laundry mat and a ghetto Starbucks.

    • To even call it a starbucks is a stretch

    • That was the coolest Starbucks anywhere, the only one I would even consider bothering with. And anyone I took there was pleasantly impressed. It was real and relaxed, not contrived and pretentious and formulaic.

  5. What if residents –rather than development/investment firms– got to decide what was most important for their neighborhoods? Companies looking to make double-digit returns (as noted on the developer’s website) are not thinking about a community’s needs but what it can sell to them.

    • cool fantasy bro.

      • Well, if the “residents” can scrape up a little cash and become the owners, they could open up a big Bernie Mall where there is a Free Clinic, a Peoples Bank, a Revolutionary Store where everything is free and a petting zoo. No cash? Oh well, I guess some capitalist pig is gonna run a business where people have jobs, services are rendered and taxes get paid.

    • The way that used to work is you had neighborhood stakeholders investing in urban development: building apartments above storefronts, adding storefronts below apartments, converting homes or duplexes into live/work spaces, garages into apartments or light manufacturing space, etc. The city as a living, breathing organism… free to change with the times.

      These options are very limited today with all the red tape involved (strict separation of land uses, minimum parking requirements, CEQA, etc.) Only those with very deep pockets have the time and resources to fight City Hall for years before they even break ground on a project. You better believe they want to make double digit returns… the risks are sky high! Mom and pop investors on a lean budget are virtually excluded from the start. It’s no wonder most development is of the big-box, soulless variety… the game is rigged in their favor (like so much of our economy.)

      The big financial institutions aren’t really tooled for community driven development either. A lot of the loans and subsidies available for single family homes disappear once you move up the ladder a few rungs to urban mixed-use. Ultimately, this just exacerbates income inequality, as local entrepreneurs can no longer afford to simply setup shop below their residence (one of the most basic tools for bottom-up wealth generation in human history.) More and more jobs and capital are shifted up the food chain, and we can all seen how that’s playing out with crony capitalism run amok in this country.

      I agree, community input is fundamental. But we also need to understand the barriers holding community-driven investment back, so we can work together to remove them. Pointing fingers at greedy developers, or moneyed hipsters is just missing the forest for the trees, IMHO. Not saying that’s what you’re doing, but it seems like that’s as far as the conversation goes with some folks… it can be frustrating.

  6. masi_gran_crit

    One of those Eastsider articles where I bypassed the story and went straight to the comments section.

  7. I keep hearing that Chipotle is looking to move into the neighborhood. I can see this location working for them.

    Personally I would like to see our own Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in the neighborhood but this building doesn’t hold the charm they would demand. For them a little storefront tucked away on Echo Park Blvd. would make more sense.

  8. This actually looks promising, I have to admit. I like the redo. I thought the Lucy’s building had no curb appeal at all.

  9. I’m pretty it’s all going to be different types of froyo places. Froyo LYFE! NO TEETH NEEDED!

  10. I really hope an Olive Garden moves in because I love their breadsticks.

  11. Jeez people BUY A CLUE!
    THERE IS NO WE THE PEOPLE, there’s two types of people, those with Money those without Money.
    Who are the elected heads catering to? Cause it sure isn’t the so called residents.

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