As of yesterday, the Lucy's laundromat near Sunset and Alvarado, in the heart of Echo Park, has ended its 17-year run, says KPCC, leaving to make way for a new, redesigned complex that's probably going to have much higher rents than the current tenants could afford. Most of the block is slated for a fancy makeover and will become Sunset+Mohawk, a gentrified complex more reflective of the increasingly high-end Echo Park of new.
But the loss of the laundromat hits the Echo Parkers who aren't buying that cute new flip hard. The flip-buyers and the people buying or renting in newer projects probably have access to a washer and dryer, probably right inside their apartment or new house.
KPCC cites a study that found that "coin-operated laundry businesses rely on lower-income customers, so demand lessens when there’s fewer of them around." So it makes sense that as Echo Park's rents rise and the median breezes by $800,000, the laundromat spaces would start disappearing.
USC professor Karen Tongson has studied gentrification in Los Angeles, and backs up the study's findings. "Chances are people are installing washer-dryers for newly renovated apartment buildings or newly-flipped single-family dwellings," she tells KPCC. There are at least three other laundromats operating in Echo Park—for now.