Echo Park — What will replace the Out of the Closet store on Sunset Boulevard? A broker told LA Taco that the bright pink thrift store, which closed last weekend, would be a clothing store of some kind.
Though not providing the exact name of the business, Jesse Paster, vice president of NAI Capital, which represents the new tenant, said it would be an “apparel company with a social component that will connect with the neighborhood past and future.”
Some cosmetic changes are also coming. “The corner will be brightened up from its pink wash to something more artistic and likely have work from local artists,” Paster said.
News first broke in May that the landmark store at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Lemoyne Street was closing. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which owns Out of the Closet, confirmed they had received a 60-day notice to vacate the premises. Ged Kenslea, spokesman for AHF, later told L.A. Taco that the store had faced “a substantial increase in rent.”
Retail space along Sunset in Echo Park tends to lease for at least $3 per square-foot on a monthly basis, according to real estate brokers who spoke to the Eastsider last year when the property was first listed for lease.
Out of the Closet still has four other locations in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, as well as at least 15 other stores nationwide, according to organization’s web site. They sell everything from rugs to books to clothing to consumer electronics. Some stores – including the former Echo Park location – have offered free rapid STD and HIV testing. Many stores also have pharmacies.
The company says 96¢ of every dollar spent at the stores goes to AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs.
The new tenant must have deep pockets. The landlord had been asking $30,000 a month rent, according to marketing material.
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