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Echo Park Shops Get The Boot As Developer Plans Huge 'Retail Compound'

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Big changes look to be coming to Echo Park.

Long-time tenants along a busy stretch of Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park are preparing to relocate as a developer prepares to transform the area, reports The Eastsider. In the coming months, businesses along the southwest corner of Sunset and Alvarado will be pushed out as the new property owner, the Continental Development Group, prepares to gentrify renovate the entire block.

While longtime neighborhood favorite Pizza Buona already left the corner due to an unrelated rent hike, according to Curbed L.A., the mass-closing will include vintage tile and pottery seller Wells Tile & Antiques and Eric’s Architectural Salvage, which have shared a space for 25 years, but will have to clear out by June 1. Meanwhile, discount store Hit Bargain is already clearing out their inventory, while mom-and-pop electronics shop Rewind Audio and Lucy’s coin-laundry will close before the end of April. Not even the Starbucks inside Lucy's seems to be safe, as an employee tells the Eastsider that they'll be clearing out as well.

Continental, which is working on several other major development projects around town, plans to renovate the buildings and lure restaurants and other businesses to its "retail and restaurant compound." The new complex will be known as Sunset+Mohawk. While The Eastsider reports that a Continental employee told them there's a chance some businesses could return after the revamp, nobody seems to be holding their breath. Many of the exiting tenants say there's slim chance they could afford higher leasing rates.

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“We really didn’t want to leave,” Scott Wells of Wells Tile & Antiques tells The Eastsider. Adding, "we couldn’t afford to stay." He plans to move his tile business, along with Eric’s Architectural Salvage, to Sixth Street in Westlake.

“It's just hard to rent a space now in Echo Park,” Well explained. “I couldn’t afford a place on Sunset now.”

Judging by some of Continentals listed clients from other projects, we're not so sure the existing tenants really fit their vision: