[Retail Real Estate] Popularity Means Higher Retail Rents

ATWATER VILLAGE—Rent is going up for a handful of local businesses. That’s the word on the street—or Glendale Boulevard that is.

Property experts say the street, considered a gateway from the Los Feliz and Silver Lake area to Glendale, has seen rising rents the last several years.

In 2010, local business owners began to notice that some of the staple women’s clothing and accessory boutiques on Glendale Blvd. were closing their doors, like Movements, at 3125 Glendale Blvd. and Violet Willow, 3127 Glendale Blvd. a few months later.

Atwater Village has become one of the popular neighborhoods not only to move to, but also where to conduct business, according to Clint Lukens, owner and broker of Clint Lukens Realty, a commercial real estate firm in Silver Lake.

“I would say over the last decade Atwater Village has just gotten more and more popular, and more and more great businesses have moved in. Because of supply and demand, their rents have gone up at least 50% or more depending on the property,” he said.

Thousand Fabrics, a long time mainstay in Atwater, first on Glendale Blvd. and then most recently on Edenhurst Ave., closed in January and re-opened again, but this time a few blocks east.

Rent is cheaper the farther east you go, said Lukens. “Atwater has much more cache and value than the area of Glendale adjacent,” he said.

One business owner, who didn’t want to be named, said his rent hadn’t increased yet but his lease contract was up soon. The business owner said his new landlord, since 2010, has been raising rents.

Lease rates for commercial properties along Glendale and Los Feliz boulevards, which 10 years ago would rent for $1 to $1.50 a foot, are now double that, to $3 a foot, for basic retail space, according to Lukens.

Business owner Elizabeth Halpern, co-owner of The Juice on Glendale Boulevard, said her business might be part of the reason rent is rising.

She called her rent “reasonable,” adding it was still twice as much as she and co-owner Melissa Cronkhite wanted to pay.

Andy Hasroun, president of the Atwater Chamber of Commerce, has seen the area change since he first purchased property for his two businesses: 55 Degree Wine shop and Link-N-Hops.

Around 2003, Hasroun said property owners started charging about $3.50 a foot for property across from him on Glendale Boulevard while everyone else was charging $1 a foot. Now, he says Atwater Village has changed into a spot where everyone—outsiders included—want to invest.

“This is the new place for superstars to live in. It’s low profile. It has that village feel to it and it has that young professional ambiance [for the] young professional with… a family,” Hasroun said.

He, like Lukens, added it’s also a matter of supply and demand.

“Things are changing for the better and you’re going to have quality tenants and [Glendale Boulevard] is going to be a gathering for the community… for the neighborhood,” Hasroun said.



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