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The African Outlet had been a Hayes Valley fixture for 20 years before a rent hike forced it out of the neighborhood earlier this month. Owners Judah Dwyer and Horgan Edet told the Examiner their lease was one of handshakes, not signed papers. That changed when Makras Real Estate took over the property last year.
Under the new management, rent went up $500 per month, according to Hoodline. Worse still, the proposed lease included an annual $150 per month rent increase thereafter. Compared to some of the retail rent hikes we've covered, $500 isn't so bad, but it was too much for the tiny shop.
In late September, the African Outlet will reopen its doors at a new location at 4942 3rd Street in Bayview. In addition to a retail outpost, Dwyer and Edet want the space to serve as an African Cultural Center that will include a gallery and performance space. They still need help getting the project off the ground, and will gladly accept donations. To contribute to the project, visit their Indiegogo page.
· Save the African Outlet [Indiegogo]
· The African Outlet Departs Hayes Valley for Bayview [Hoodline]
· African Outlet seeks options to stay in neighborhood despite rent increase [SF Examiner]