North Hollywood Swap Meet vendors hold protest outside owner's home in Hancock Park

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Vendors held a protest Tuesday outside the Hancock Park home of one of the North Hollywood Swap Meet's owners, demanding that the marketplace remain open.

The Swap Meet is expected to shut down at the end of this month.

Among the protesters' demands, that the Swap Meet terminate a notice to vacate within 30 days and that the vendors not be forced to pay back rent.

"We don't have have that much money to pay -- three times what we used to pay," vendor Roberto Lopez told ABC7 at the demonstration. "He wants three times more for rent and we can't afford that much. We are low-income families and this is a community. We live around the area, we need this place because it's for the low-income people."

The owner of the marketplace, Hager Pacific, told Eyewitness News the operator of the North Hollywood Swap Meet has been in arrears for years and owes a significant amount of back rent.
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Small business owners and their supporters shut down a section of Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood Monday afternoon during a rally protesting the closure of a popular swap meet.

"Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to resolve the ongoing issues and therefore decided to end the tenancy," Hager Pacific said in a statement. "We have forgiven several million dollars in back rent owed by the operator."
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