Update: Pickett Fences announced that the store, being pushed out of the Larchmont Village Plaza, will move across the street to the former Alternative Apparel space at 219 N. Larchmont Blvd. See more information on the Pickett Fences Facebook page here.
Several stores on Larchmont are closing or relocating, according to reports from a board meeting of the Larchmont Boulevard Association.
Among them are Boulevard stalwarts Hans Custom Optik, Pickett Fences and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Hans Fiebig lives in Hancock Park and has been in the optometry business 60 years and on the street 30 years. His lenses have graced celebrities and locals alike.
Fiebig had planned to retire, even before his landlord Ronald Simms made it difficult to stay, according to one source who asked to remain anonymous.
Comparative newcomer Crumbs Bake Shop, which has already closed, shares the same landlord as Hans Custom Optik and clothing boutique Pickett Fences, which must relocate.
Building owner Simms had planned a high-end food store to replace the three tenants, but the Boulevard’s limitation on a single store’s number of front feet along the sidewalk—in the Q Condition—thwarted the deal, Simms said.
The store needed more frontage than is allowed under the measure.
While Simms declined to say, rents are rising from $7 and $8 a square foot to $8 and $10, estimated Thomas Kneafsey, president of the Larchmont Business Improvement District.
Kneafsey also manages the building next door that houses Jamba Juice. The juicery is closing in June, said Kneafsey. “The competition has been too great. It killed them,” he said.
Across the street, Nicole women’s clothing and accessories shop and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf—possibly the street’s first coffee house—are going. Coffee Bean wanted a larger space, said Kneafsey.
Alternative Apparel sold its last sweatshirt Dec. 31, and the former Prudential Real Estate office has been empty of tenants for years. Owned by Albert Mizrahi, it is south of the Wells Fargo parking lot, and continues to have graffiti.