South LA swap meet vendors protest closure of Fiesta Mini Mall, seek more time to relocate

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Tuesday, October 24, 2023
South LA swap meet vendors protest closure of Fiesta Mini Mall
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South L.A. swap meet vendors took to the streets Monday to protest the imminent closure and demolition of Fiesta Mini Mall at 48th and Main streets.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Local swap meet vendors took to the streets Monday to protest the imminent closure and demolition of Fiesta Mini Mall at 48th and Main streets in South Los Angeles.

Vendors along with their families, protested at the West Hollywood office of the private owners and developers.

They say they need more than the 90 days given to vacate the site and save money. The indoor swap meet is home to about 50 vendors. For the past year, they have faced the prospect of eviction as the property is slated to be torn down to make way for the construction of more than 200 affordable housing units.

"It's not fair that these vendors that have been there for years building that swap meet be kicked out," said Rene Ramirez, a vendor at Fiesta Mini Mall. "I know they're doing it in the name of public housing but a lot of these vendors here, were from, you know, low-income, and a lot of us can't even apply for that public housing."

Last week, the same vendors protested outside Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass' home in Windsor Square pleading for help from the city. They want an extension on their eviction notices.

In a statement to Eyewitness news, a mayor's staff member said, "Mayor Bass is committed to doing all that she can to help."

EXTENSIONS GIVEN

The vendors were initially told they would have to move out by May of this year. After they protested, the deadline was extended to August and then extended one more time. Now they are supposed to leave by the end of October.

They say the mayor's office promised to provide them with more relocation assistance but they have not seen that promise fulfilled.

The mayor's office, however, says their staff has met with the vendors and is attempting to help them. The office noted that the vendors have been given extensions already.

"City officials, including the local Council Office, have been in communication with the vendors for months and previously negotiated a three-month extension to the small business owners' lease agreements," said Deputy Mayor Zach Seidl. "Mayor Bass is committed to doing all that she can to help support the small business owners' transition from the Fiesta Mini Mall and will continue to advocate that businesses of all sizes have the support and resources needed to thrive in Los Angeles.

The area is represented by Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price.