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Figueroa auto repair shops give way to new Highland Park development

The former Abdul’s Auto Care under renovation

By BARRY LANK

Highland Park  — Turning auto repair and body shops into offices, restaurants or shops could be a trend along Figueroa Street. Two such projects are already underway, and one of the developers says there will probably be more conversions on the neighborhood’s main street.

Local planning guidelines offer “incentives to building owners and developers encouraging a return of walkable amenities,” said a spokesperson for the Angelus Complex.  The project is converting part of The Shop Auto Body building at the northwest corner of Figueroa and Avenue 50 into four separate storefronts for office, retail and restaurant tenants – with the auto body shop remaining in business in a smaller space.

Meanwhile, another developer is working on an even bigger project next door at 5015-5023 N. Figueroa St., turning the former Abdul’s Auto Care and Car-Tique Auto Body into more than 18,000 square-feet of creative office and retail space. A listing on LoopNet makes a point of mentioning the exposed brick walls and bow-truss ceilings.

There is no shortage of repair places on Figueroa: Five addresses for auto repair turn up in a search between Ave 50 and Ave 56, plus another auto repair place up by Ave 59.  How many of these will be converted into other uses remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, work on the Angelus Complex is expected to be completed by next spring. An Angelus spokesperson said it has attracted attention from local restaurateurs, a local barber shop, a gallery representing local artists and a local retailer.

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7 comments

  1. Rigoberto Pantaleon

    Will parking spaces be included in this new development?

  2. If this development is successful, I think it bodes well for the Cypress Park section of Figueroa as well.

    • Only for people that think its ok that developers run city hall , and are sucking the soul dry of this city >…. you know , people like you that probably moved here because buzzfeed said it was a “hip up and coming hood”

      • Reeke…change is part of life, and as a native Higland Park’r I welcome the change. I just hope this new tax revenues trickle into the schools (Aldama, Anadale, Burbank, Franklin etc.) And also provide low income housing for those that need it.

  3. Of course the previous renters or the owner didn’t know how to work it. That place was huge and not being used to it’s potential. You could have rented out 3 or 4 spaces, I forgot how many there are next to the car repair shop instead of to one person who never did anything. I look at it every time I go to McDonald’s or the Market and I’ve always said wasted space. Same goes for the larger building. Now we have someone smart who will use the property to it’s full potential. And cash in at the same time and bring us more stores that we need in Highland Park not car repair shops that bring down the neighborhood I feel. Unless it’s a car shop that sells expensive rims and radios, tires and other flashy car items.

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