South Los Angeles

Vendors at South LA Swap Meet Ask for More Time to Relocate Before Planned Demolition

Vendors at the Fiesta Mini-Mall say they are being evicted without enough time to relocate.

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Vendors of a South LA swap meet say they are being evicted with little notice so developers can demolish the building that houses their businesses.

The vendors went face-to-face with the development company demanding they be treated fairly. In a crowded hallway leading to the developer's office, vendors chanted, carrying signs protesting the recent eviction notice many got, demanding they move out by the end of the month.

“We need a fair transition,” Issa Rivera, a vendor at the swap meet, said. “Give us time to find another place ... We also want them to pay for those expenses..”

David Aghaei, the co-founder of Eleos Ventures, told the vendors they are not being told to leave this month or next, or in two months.

“We are not going to do it tomorrow, or next month or two months. There is time,” Aghaei said.

Demolition is not slated to begin until the end of the year. The plan is to build a 221-unit, low-income housing apartment building.

Agaeil said there is still time to work with vendors who will be displaced.

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“Solution would be we need more time … Six months is not a lot for people to pick up and go somewhere else,” Rene Ramirez, another vendor at the swap meet, said.

Some vendors fear there may not be a place to go.

Iremedia Serrano said swap meets are closing around the city and keeping many families in dire straits on maintaining their livelihood.

Rivera said they want to work and want to get ahead without the government's help; they are asking for a just transition.

The developers plan to meet with them and hear out their demands and find a path forward.

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