NoHo Swap Meet Saved From Closure


Source: CBS News

Large protest to keep the NoHo swap meet open

Shemeah Lemmo, Writer

Protests concerning the North Hollywood swap meet end in success after long weeks of fighting to keep the location from being shut down. 

Swap meets have been used as a gathering for vendors and small businesses to exchange and trade their items for a certain value. These items can be secondhand but of good quality. Sometimes these swap meets include collectors swapping items of common interest. 

The locations for swat meets are usually owned by someone paying the landlord to use their property. These operators then rent out stalls for vendors to use and organize the event. 

The threatened closure of the NoHo swap meet sparks protest (Source: ABC 7)

The North Hollywood swap meet would include tons of families gathering for delicious food and exchanging their goods. It was a lively atmosphere as everyone came together to enjoy the restaurants and booths full of items ready to exchange. 

Unfortunately, that liveliness would not last as new circumstances come to light. 

The lease agreement for the swap meet, located at 7355 Lankershim Blvd., was set to expire at the end of March. After rumors of redevelopment, the organizers and owners of the property were unable to reach a new agreement in order to keep the swap meet, which had been running for decades. 

As a result, vendors were ordered to vacate the property by March 31.

Many vendors use the swap meet as a way to gain income. Some of these vendors have been there for decades and are minorities—the majority made up of Latino or Mexican ethnicity. If the venue closes down, it could affect the lives of many vendors trying to make a living. 

Supporters of the swap meet fighting to keep it open (Source: ABC 7)

These vendors have families, their children being affected could even come to this school, or maybe have relations to those that do attend. The closing of the swap meet isn’t just taking away sources of income, it could change the lives of many people for the worse. 

Starting on March 7, over 100 members of the community started protesting around the area, trying to change the seemingly inevitable outcome. 

Alongside this, a petition on was created by Mayte Medina, reading, “The closing of the North Hollywood swap meet is unacceptableHundreds of small business will be forced to close and even more workers will lose their livelihood in the middle of a pandemic. Many will be unable to find alternatives jobsat the risk of homelessness/displacement, unable to pay rent and keep their homes. Moreover, will lose a treasured community space where many of the residents found community and refuge.” 

Diana Galindo, an employee at the swap meet since 2007, comments on the petition, “This is my second home.” 

The owners eventually agreed to keep the swap meet open if the vendors agreed to a rent increase and found a professional management company to run the operations.

“To pay the bills, to pay the insurance, to pay all these things. It has to be somebody who knows how to run a business,” says Roberto Lopez, a restaurant owner at the swap meet, “… we’re just vendorswe need somebody to run the business.” 

There was a lot of struggling, but it had come to an end as a solution was found. 

On April 4, during a press conference, vendors announced that they had found a new operator that will be signing a long term lease with the owners.