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Occidental College Getting in on York Boulevard Gentrification

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Eagle Rock's Occidental College is becoming a York Boulevard landlord in an attempt to drag some of that nearby gentrification closer to its students. The school has purchased a 5,400-square-foot building at York and Armadale Avenue, just a few blocks away from its campus, and plans to lease part of the space out to new shops and cafes, with four storefronts saved for school use, says Eastsider LA. Having seen the pricey home decor stores and the like that are firmly established on the almost intolerably hip segment of York Boulevard up the street in Highland Park, the college says they want to bring "the emerging York retail scene" further west, closer to the college, while also making it clear to people on York that there's a college nearby.

The purchase of the building seems to bode poorly for its most well-known tenant, Ocxy Store, a liquor store popular with students. There are plenty of liquor stores on this stretch of York, probably because after 100 years of having a college in the area, enterprising businesspeople picked up on the fact that college kids like to drink. An Oxy spokesman says that the Ocxy Store's space "likely will remain some kind of locally owned retail/café," but doesn't seem interested in keeping the current boozy business there.

Meanwhile, the four school-oriented spaces planned for the building will also probably help kick up Oxy's visibility along York. Despite a century in the neighborhood, the school's presence on the super-hip road (and throughout Highland Park) has long been fairly lowkey. A few small signs pointing to the campus and the orange bikes out and around on loan from Oxy's bike share are the few indicators that the school's tucked into the streets nearby.
· Occidental College joins the York Boulevard scene [ELA]
· Meet the Woman Driving Highland Park Gentrification By Convincing Landlords to Jack Up Rents [Curbed LA]