BUZZ: Local Business Owners Invest in Arts District

I’m always happy to learn about great things happening in the Arts District, especially when they involve people who have long believed in the neighborhood. Word on the street is that two commercial spaces along 3rd St. were recently acquired separately by long-time business owners.

707 E. 4th PlaceFactory Place Arts Complex owner HBK Investments confirmed its purchase of the corner building at 707 E. 4th Pl., Los Angeles 90013, which formerly housed Shojikiya Bookstore and offices for Dale K. Ogawa Accounting. According to Matt Klein, the decision on how the space will be utilized is not confirmed as of yet. Since this project is being developed with the assistance of Creative Space (which recently moved to the Arts District), I’m looking forward to whatever is conceived since the firm’s motto is “urban transformation should serve its community” and since HBK Investments is known for recreating amazing spaces. As a side note, let’s also hope that the murals surrounding the property survive the transformation. On the 3rd St. wall, the stunning black-and-white “Celebration of Elephants” mural by artist Damon Martin was created in 2012 to heighten awareness of the plight of elephants with the support of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). On 4th Pl., an otherwise dismal-looking wall was given a much-needed vibrant palette of color and life this past July through an untitled East Coast/West Coast collaboration by artists SEEN and RISK organized by the L.A. Freewalls project.

Mosaic-ArtspaceAccording to the realtor representing the property, Mosaic Artspace is not renewing the lease for its Arts District location that ends this coming May. The good news is that a local business owner (who asked to be unnamed for the time being) has taken over the lease for use as either office or retail space.

Details on both newly announced ventures will follow as they become available. P.S. Of course, I’m among the many locals eagerly awaiting the Spring 2013 opening of Urban Radish, an eco-conscious grocery store located at 660 Mateo St. owned by residents Carolyn Paxton and Keri Aivazis.

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