Business owners want to bail on WeHo

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West Hollywood’s commercial corridors are pockmarked by empty storefronts — and many of their remaining neighbors are looking to jump ship, too.

Bizbuysell.com lists a number of WeHo businesses up for grabs, including a cannabis lounge, a spa, a mechanic shop and a restaurant. These listings are being sold by owner, without agents. Many others are listed “incognito.”

There have several recent successful sales and transfers of WeHo businesses, including St. Felix, Revolver, and The Abbey.   Micky’s has also been listed for sale.  

But other business owners have faced trouble trying to sell their enterprises. They’re often impeded by the terms of commercial leases which secure a personal guarantee of the lease payment by the owner for the length of the lease, usually from five to 10 years.

The owners of the Yogurt Stop sold their store but their landlord would not approve the transfer of the lease with an extended lease term.   They opted out.

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Footnote:   In addition, the BlockParty store has also been listed for sale but is not included in this list as it has been previously discussed within two separate articles in this publication.  

 

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Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago

WeHo’s economy has never stood still and we have been thru several cycles of boom and bust since we became a City; we always survive. But much of what we are seeing today is part of a larger economic landscape to which West Hollywood’s economic micro climate is not immune. COVID has changed consumer habits; you can’t have thriving storefronts if your constantly ordering off Amazon or shopping on line. Retail rents are absurd. In Los Angeles there seems to be a shortage of labor for restaurants and retail as younger workers find they demand higher wages; indeed higher wages… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

I don’t know where you’ve been walking but much of the new tenants on melrose (in the past year) are pop-up stores with short-term leases. Before this the street was empty for a long time. I wrote a note in this chain that I believe legislation should be passed in WEHO that fines landlords for leaving retail space empty after a specified period of time. My sense is that many landlords price property so high that nobody can afford and then they use that as a write-off. They don’t care about the retail neighborhoods themselves. But these empty street fronts… Read more »

Val
Val
1 month ago

LOL at all these inept liberals running WeHo; Liberals have about as much business in government as a vegan does running a steakhouse chain

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Val

And yet, the economy always does better under Democratic leadership.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Because “trickle down” economic policies haven’t worked since the Middle Ages.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

There is a big difference between democratic leadership and left wing progressive leadership. Successful democrats like Bill Clinton didn’t embrace nutty policies that killed businesses and main stream democrats were not out on the street supporting murderers like Hamas. Let’s face it, the progressives will probably be responsible if Donald Trump wins again. As a life long democrat I find the left wing just as destructive as right wing MAGA republicans. To them, everything is always the fault of people who work their asses off to build their businesses and create wealth. Most young progressives are just lazy and don’t… Read more »

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Morty

“people who work their asses off to build their businesses and create wealth”

Almost all 1% wealth is inherited in this country. Generational wealth is a very real thing. But sure, keep blaming poor people for the world’s problems while the rich get richer.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I don’t blame poor people I blame lazy people who want to work as little as possible and have the tax payers support them. Most poor people I know work much harder than leftist extremists. I would much rather have our town filled with migrants who want to work and want to contribute versus left wing extremists who can’t emotionally handle working more than 3 days a week otherwise they might have a nervous breakdown.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Morty

I consider myself pretty progressive and “left” and I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never met a “left wing extremists who can’t emotionally handle working more than 3 days a week otherwise they might have a nervous breakdown.”

I’d say 80% of my friends pretty much align with my values and all work 40+ hour work weeks!

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Does that leave the other 20% as left wing extremists who can’t emotionally handle working more than 3 days a week?

WeHoHo
WeHoHo
1 month ago

Small business turnover is nothing new and happens everywhere all the time. Why? Because the owner gets sick and has to sell or close down. Or they want to retire after 30 years in business so they sell or close down. In WeHo, with a lot of gay business owners who are less likely to have children to take over a business, it’s probably even more common than elsewhere. I mean, if you open a bar when you’re 35, you’re probably looking at retiring 30 years later. That’s life.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHoHo

Yeah, but that doesn’t feed the narrative of “city council bad. Gloom and doom every day” that people project on here.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHoHo

Yes all the noted gay businesses in WeHo that closed recently like T+Mobile, AAA, Starbucks, Subway, Hot and Juicy Crawfish. It’s sad that their elderly gay owners didn’t have children to take over the family businesses.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

You forgot the gay pop&pop IHOP pancake house!

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

LOL exactly. Or the gay entrepreneurs behind the nail salon that was next to Target, GameStop, the restaurant next to Mendocino Farms. For such a gay friendly city we really treat these business owners like garbage.

WeHo Tenant
WeHo Tenant
1 month ago

I am not giving my opinion on any specific west hollywood city council member or any politician in general, but whenever we vote in anyone new, all we do is bitch about is how they have no experience and have no idea what they are doing. That we need to bring back the experienced politicians. But we again bitch that they (the old politician) are out of touch and we need new blood. Face it, all politicians suck and care more about their own agendas than about the people. It does not matter, new blood or the old blood most… Read more »

Morty
Morty
1 month ago

Even Larry is bailing on WEHO trying to sell his business Block Party once again. Let’s face it, WEHO is not an easy place to run a small business. I predict an avalanche of businesses closing or relocating over the next 6-12 months. Given the high cost of rent, high labor costs and high taxes it’s not feasible to keep many of these businesses open.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Morty

I don’t foresee that at all.

I do find it weird that many of you here are basically hoping businesses fail or move as an “I told you so”. It really doesn’t seem like you want people to succeed.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Many of us have lived in West Hollywood for decades. How long have you lived in WEHO? How many jobs have you created in WEHO? The city is not heading in the right direction. We have every right to point that out. It has nothing to do with “hoping businesses fail”. It has everything to do with encouraging our elected officials to do things that help businesses succeed. When businesses succeed more jobs are created and that is good for everyone. Running a city like a corrupt union is just a very bad idea.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Morty

I’ve been here for 10 years and I’ve definitely seen changes to the city. Some good and some bad. That is life.

Change is inevitable and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll be able to accept this landscape.

I see this way too often with the boomer generation (even my own parents). You need to learn to embrace change. You’re and older person now and businsses are different. We have grindr, food delivery apps, tiktok, amazon prime delivery, etc

Life in Weho will not go back to what you experienced in 1991

kab1200
kab1200
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Some change is not in the best interest of the city, or any business. To say we should just accept that is ridiculous. You need to open a business in Weho. Then you can weigh in.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

LOL. You are very funny. Yes, change is inevitable but we’re looking for good changes not bad changes. You think that us boomers don’t use food apps, TikTok or Amazon? You think there are no boomers on Grindr? Basic business principles don’t change. Businesses still need to make a profit to survive. I’m not looking for 1991 I’m looking for smart educated people who are willing to work hard to make a better WEHO for everyone. Following a corrupt union is not going to make WEHO better it’s going to cost jobs, cost tax revenue and make our city very… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Morty
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Morty

You think that us boomers don’t use food apps, TikTok or Amazon? You think there are no boomers on Grindr?”

Thats not at all what I said or meant. But your comment proves that media literacy is something you could improve upon.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Just FYI, businesses are no different today. They still need to make money in order to pay their employees and pay their rent or in the case of online businesses cover other expenses. Apparently you don’t understand how business works. Maybe you can ask your parents for money to start a business in WEHO. Tell them you want to provide jobs for people and they need to learn how to deal with change.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

People – it’s very easy – we need to vote all these politicians out in the next election. I’m a Democrat but the far left wing liberals of WEHO are killing the town. I also FIRMLY believe that the city should establish legislation that fines building owners for leaving the buildings empty. I think it is pretty clear that many building owners jack the rent so high that nobody will lease the space and then they use these empty buildings as tax write-offs. The city should give them a window where the buildings are empty and then, if they don’t… Read more »

KoWeho
KoWeho
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

I am not a big fan of many members of the council. However, I am not sure how their actions have led to the sale of these businesses, or if the city council can help in selling the listed businesses. Restaurants are always on the market, and it is a tough business overall. Moreover, do we really need so many Cannabis lounges? The number of sales and turnovers seems appropriate for the size of a city like West Hollywood.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

You make some good points. I agree with you about these far left liberals. They want everything for nothing. They are destroying businesses and killing jobs. That is why the Unite union has been able to easily suck them in. They need the money that the Unite union provides because they aren’t successful on their own and they don’t want to work for it. I don’t know if the vacancies are because people want tax deductions it’s more likely greedy real estate agents like Jay Luchs who keep telling building owners they can get these unrealistic rents. How many retail… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
1 month ago

if you do not own your real estate or do not have at least 5 years on a lease, the chances of selling your business is under 25%. If your business is also either outdated or has a low barrier of entry for competition, the chance of selling falls to 10%. Do a five year business plan and see where you are and where you want to be and make smart choices. Get outside advise as well from a business broker at any stage.

Sad In Weho
Sad In Weho
1 month ago

One of these definitely sounds like the Den on sunset.

Bastian
Bastian
1 month ago

What about the elephant in the room? Block Party for sale

Larry Block
1 month ago
Reply to  Bastian

I have discussed BlockParty being for sale in two articles already. It’s not new news.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

So sad to see what is happening to our city. We need new leadership.

Uron
Uron
1 month ago

Larry wrote this article and didn’t include his own business, Block Party being for sale? Strange.

Larry Block
1 month ago
Reply to  Uron

Actually Brandon wrote the article. I have not read it yet but will update the author.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Block

That’s funny because it said you were the author earlier this morning…

Larry Block
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Yes it did, but it was handed off to Brandon after I put the topic up and he wrote it out but had not changed the author.

voter
voter
1 month ago

There was no Unite Here lobby attacking residents when I moved to the lovely place that used to be West Hollywood.

The city has gone to hell since Erickson, Byers, Shyne, and the dreadful Horvath were tricked into office by the many foolish people who reside here.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

yup.

Kevin
Kevin
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

How is supporting paying a whopping 763.00 per week before withholding a bad thing? I just don’t get all of you who blame what is still so far from a liveable wage for every business failure. Most businesses fail because they are poorly run, under capitalized, just not needed or uncompetitive. Heck, nationally over 50% of restaurants fail in the first year.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin

Where does your $763.00 number per week come from? Does that include the extra benefits that are now required including with part time workers? The ones who always suffer are the small businesses who are marginally profitable or not profitable at all. Larger companies like Chipotle and McDonalds will just eliminate jobs and add robotics. They can afford to do it. Just look at all the robotic delivery vehicles roaming our sidewalks. Next will be self service kiosks to order your food and it will continue from there including cooking the food. Instead of helping people with entry level jobs… Read more »

WeHo Tenant
WeHo Tenant
1 month ago
Reply to  Morty

I agree with most of what you are saying but just an FYI, there was a ballot Initiative Prop 6 on the ballot in 2018 that would have repealed the high gas tax and limit the governor’s abilities to raise the taxes without it being voted on by the voters… Guess what? It lost. So we as voters, had a chance to lower our gas taxes but people either do not bother to vote or they do not understand how they are voting, since so many of the things we vote for worded to be confusing on purpose. So whenever… Read more »

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Tenant

I hear you. We the people are responsible for a lot of dumb things and for electing a lot of people who do a lot of dumb things. I myself do not recall this prop back in 2018. I am sure the politicians did a masterful job convincing people that the extra tax revenue was sorely needed. Please also keep in mind back in 2018 before covid things were not quite as bad as they are today. Most of these minimum wage jobs are entry level. They are not meant to be lifetime positions. I personally know several CEO’s of… Read more »

kab1200
kab1200
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Tenant

Yes, it was very confusingly written. I believe that’s why it failed. Kind of like the original Prop 8.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin

Here we go again with this “living wage” crap! Just what is a living wage? Wouldn’t it be different for everyone? Low-skilled, little-experienced workers should not expect to earn enough money to live alone. These kinds of jobs would likely require the employee to live with family or roommates, or to have another main source of income that this job supplements.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

We once had neighborhood cohesion, now we have a crowd attempting to manufacture “community” in its place. Nothing can replace the sense of neighborhood that once defined West Hollywood.

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