North Hollywood swap meet: Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian says city has ‘no direct authority’ over shutdown
“It’s sad that all these people…it’s their only income,” said Kathy Palomar, a saleswoman at the swap meet. “They have nowhere left to go, and some of them are over 30 here, and it’s not OK for them to fire us just because they want to.”
Store clerks are upset, saying they only received 30 days notice to vacate the building. They say they were told that the owners wanted to demolish everything and build new buildings.
“We try to keep the place open longer because they only give it to us 30 days in advance,” said Catarin Gil, who sells products at the exchange. “I don’t think that’s fair. I’ve been here for 22 years, alone, and other people have been here for 32 years.”
The Swap Meet is home to a wide variety of businesses that have long served the area’s Latino and immigrant community. Some companies have been operating for decades.
“Customers have been here since they were kids,” said Iver Cano, a salesperson at the swap meet for more than 25 years. “The swap meet, I believe, has been open for over 30 years, so this swap meet has a lot of history.”
Attempts by ABC7 to contact the owner of the building failed on Tuesday.
The swap meet is located in the district represented by Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian, who released the following statement:
“The board member would prefer this business to continue at its current location, but unfortunately the swap meet operator is not interested in renewing his lease. This is a contractual matter between private parties, a matter over which the City of Los Angeles has no direct authority.If the swap meet operator finds another location to do business within the 2nd council district, that office will make a pleased to expedite the licensing and permitting process.
Store owners said they face a $600 penalty if they don’t leave by the end of the month. They said they wanted an extension of at least three to six months.
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