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Pat's punted

“Hipsters” blamed for North Park gentrification

Pat has less than a month to clear out and make way for a "high-end architecture guy," she says.
Pat has less than a month to clear out and make way for a "high-end architecture guy," she says.

"It's a mom-and-pop operation with just Mom," says Pat (last name withheld) of North Park antique-and-collectible shop Pat's Corner.

The boutique has been at its current location on 30th and Upas for eight years, offering an anachronistic assortment of furniture, crafts, clothing, and knick-knacks. Now, Pat has until January 1 to clear out, by order of the property owner, or else face a $600 fine.

"The property was leased to some supposedly high-end architecture guy," says Pat, who is looking for a new location. "It was a month-to-month lease, so [the landlord] can do that."

Pat says the property owner also sent a letter to the cottages behind her store stating that they were over the property line.

"I've been here eight years, and the owner has not done a single thing," says Pat. "The roof leaks, there's asbestos in the back, there's mold. I haven't complained at all to her. I even had the building painted myself because it looked awful."

In response, musician and Pat's Corner regular Cervantes Magaña started a Facebook event to rally supporters, writing: "She isn't being evicted because of a lack of business, but instead big business has decided North Park is San Diego's 'it' spot…. I found out yesterday, and my heart broke…. She is optimistic and resilient, she is like family to many of us and she could use our resources."

The thread has sparked a long discussion pointing fingers at primarily "hipsters" (whatever that means) and gentrification — accusations that have been lurking on the lips of North Park advocates for some time now.

"It's definitely a bummer," Pat says. "If you lined up everybody who wanted to help us, it would go down to El Cajon Boulevard."

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Pat has less than a month to clear out and make way for a "high-end architecture guy," she says.
Pat has less than a month to clear out and make way for a "high-end architecture guy," she says.

"It's a mom-and-pop operation with just Mom," says Pat (last name withheld) of North Park antique-and-collectible shop Pat's Corner.

The boutique has been at its current location on 30th and Upas for eight years, offering an anachronistic assortment of furniture, crafts, clothing, and knick-knacks. Now, Pat has until January 1 to clear out, by order of the property owner, or else face a $600 fine.

"The property was leased to some supposedly high-end architecture guy," says Pat, who is looking for a new location. "It was a month-to-month lease, so [the landlord] can do that."

Pat says the property owner also sent a letter to the cottages behind her store stating that they were over the property line.

"I've been here eight years, and the owner has not done a single thing," says Pat. "The roof leaks, there's asbestos in the back, there's mold. I haven't complained at all to her. I even had the building painted myself because it looked awful."

In response, musician and Pat's Corner regular Cervantes Magaña started a Facebook event to rally supporters, writing: "She isn't being evicted because of a lack of business, but instead big business has decided North Park is San Diego's 'it' spot…. I found out yesterday, and my heart broke…. She is optimistic and resilient, she is like family to many of us and she could use our resources."

The thread has sparked a long discussion pointing fingers at primarily "hipsters" (whatever that means) and gentrification — accusations that have been lurking on the lips of North Park advocates for some time now.

"It's definitely a bummer," Pat says. "If you lined up everybody who wanted to help us, it would go down to El Cajon Boulevard."

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Comments
2

I live a few blocks south of here. This area has changed dramatically, but it is an over-simplification to blame "hipsters" (WTF does that even mean these days?) for the change. People love the location of NP/SP and the walkability of the area. Houses were cheaper 12 years ago, and now have shot way up as more people realize how nice the area can be. More and more families live near me (with young kids, like mine) and those people support businesses and restaurants that, in turn, support higher commercial rents. Landlords have picked up on this, and are going to go where the $ is. Let's see what goes in here, I don't believe an architects office makes sense, I take it an architect is coming in to re-do the space for another restaurant. Pat's is very neat and unique, but I always wondered how long it would be before the prime corner would be yanked back from them by the building's owner. I bought my current kitchen table/chairs there, along with all the school desks and dressers for my kids. They were too cheap (price, not quality!) for solid-wood with retro aesthetics, but hey, I was stoked to get such a deal. But one can only buy so much from a Pats-type place (unless you refurb and resell as a means of income) before you don't need anything else. I hope they land close by with a long-term lease, best of luck and thanks for the good deals!

Dec. 10, 2012

The mix of places in North Park is part of its charm. As someone who used to have an apartment balcony a couple hundred feet from Pat's, I always thought the corner would be better if the Kwik Stop and Pat's would do a bit more to improve the curb appeal. Now living a 5-minute walk from that intersection, I'm hopeful the next tenant brings something interesting, maybe a wireless tech lounge that serves drinks and promotes conversation. Or even a really good Indian restaurant, as far as I know the closest one is in Hillcrest. I agree with the above person who posted. My wife and I are childless 30-somethings, not hipsters by even the most broad definition, but love leaving our cars at home and spending money within walking distance from our home. That the property can now draw a higher rent isn't the landlord's fault. The property is an investment. Maybe the increased rent will let the landlord do major upgrades. Or be more charitable. Or put his or her children through college or trade school. Or allow them to invest in some start up that has some other benefit. Maybe the next tenant will negotiate tenant improvements as an offset against the square foot price so that the building gets a much needed face lift. I also hope Pat's lands somewhere not too far off, but as a long-time resident, I'm also looking forward to what may come next.

Dec. 24, 2012

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