INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) — Businesses are leaving a once popular Inglewood street and some are blaming higher rents.
Several “For Lease” signs can be seen from former storefronts, some boarded up, along Market Street.
Aisha Ly and her husband have owned Top Diversified Fashions on the pedestrian-friendly stretch since the ’90s.
“We are known for maxi skirts and these are all prints from Senegal,” she said. “Inglewood has always been our home.”
But in the last few years, Ly says she’s seen changes that have her worried.
“People come and shop but unfortunately quite a few shops have been closed down,” she explained.
Several store owners CBS2/KCAL9’s Lesley Marin spoke to said building owners are selling and new owners are raising rents.
“The owners are smelling opportunity,” one man said.
“If you got a new landlord that puts the rent higher … double or even triple … you cannot make it,” Ly said. She blames the rises on the Rams stadium, set to open in the city in 2020.
“Well the Rams, you know, everybody wants to come to Inglewood because of the Rams,” she said.
Mayor James Butts agrees owners are taking advantage of the new real-estate opportunities but insists higher rents aren’t isolated to Inglewood.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “Rents have been rising in Southern California — in California as a whole — since the end of 2012.”
Butts says the city has plans to revive Market St. that include affordable housing and more businesses.
“This is the city’s vision for it … to eventually be second-floor residential over first-floor retail, entertainment,” he said.
Ly says for now her rent has remained the same and she’s trying to stay optimistic.
“We just hope every day it doesn’t go up,” she said.