The Check 'n Go store at 2509 El Cajon Boulevard in North Park has closed down.
Activist Omar Passons, former president of North Park Community Association, welcomed the exit, saying, “I think it is a positive development to see them close up.” The land-use attorney added: “The rates that places like Check 'n Go charge are absurdly high, and I don't believe they contribute positively to our community.”
Capital Real Estate Ventures Inc. is trying to lease the 3049-square-foot property for $3 per foot (“negotiable”). Justin Earley, senior vice president with Capital, said Check 'n Go vacated because their lease ended in December, and they didn't renew after a rent increase. Earley sees its best use as a restaurant or café, emphasizing “it has parking, which is rare in North Park.”
The payday and title loan company opened sometime back on a run-down section of El Cajon Boulevard. East of that store are a car-insurance office, auto-repair shop, Lil B's restaurant, a closed marijuana dispensary, a massage spa, and San Diego Chicken Pie Shop. Across from the chicken eatery is the boarded-up former Coco's restaurant, usually splattered with graffiti.
Passons also expressed his concern about affordability in North Park. He said, “Our challenge as a community is to avoid becoming inhospitable to households across the income spectrum.”
Cincinnati-based Check 'n Go is the second-largest provider of short-term loans in the country. It has about 1300 stores in 31 states. The company did not respond to a request for comment about their departure.
Here's an example of a loan: A $250 payday loan, based on a 14-day loan term, would be 460% APR (annual percentage rate). The finance charge would be $44.11, so the payback would be $294.11.
Just west of the Check 'n Go at Arizona Street is the former AT&T building, where an apartment complex will be built. Before being fortified with steel panels over windows and doors, plus chainlink fencing, the building was constantly vandalized both inside and out.