Gates now cover group of SE Hawthorne Blvd. storefronts at night - KPTV - FOX 12

Gates now cover group of SE Hawthorne Blvd. storefronts at night

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Gates now cover a group of storefronts on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard at night.

David Rappoport, owner of Hawthorne Cutlery, said the gates went up at the business strip on Hawthorne near 32nd Avenue earlier this month.

Rappoport said business owners didn’t have to pay for the gates and they were put up by a property management company after many complaints about people sleeping in front of the storefronts and even vandalizing the shops. 

“Tagging, vandalism, breaking and entering,” said Rappoport. “And they yell, they get drunk, they cause all kinds of problems, particularly at night.”

Robin Morrison, who works at Rock Soft Futon, has also seen her fair share of problems.

“I’ve come to work and had to clean up spit on the doors, cigarettes,” she said. “I’ve had to wake people up.”

While Morrison said she’s happy the property management company is taking action, she said it’s too soon to tell if the gates are helping. She does have a strong opinion about one thing, though.

“I think they’re very ugly,” she said.

Rappoport agreed the gates send a strong message in a part of town that has built its reputation on being energetic and eclectic.

“It’s helping a little bit, but it certainly doesn’t help the look and it gives shoppers the idea that this isn’t a safe neighborhood,” he said.

In the end, both said it’s a Band-Aid for a much larger problem: the growing homeless population across the city.

“The times have really changed and it makes me really sad that we’re having to be New York, San Francisco,” said Morrison.

Rappoport said, “It looks like Detroit. I guess we’re going to bar the windows and board up everything.” 

FOX 12 reached out to the property management company Tuesday to learn more about the gates and did not immediately hear back. 

Morrison said the gates in front of Rock Soft Futon have already been vandalized. 

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