The primary issue with gentrification is that it's resulted in longtime residents being forced to leave their neighborhoods because they can no longer afford to live there. Now, a lifelong Lower East Side resident who actually trademarked the term the "Lower East Side" has been priced out of the neighborhood.
According to Vanity Fair, designer Robert Lopez placed the trademark tag on the name back in 2007, but was forced to close his LES Clothing Co. shop on May 31 because his landlord raised the rent by $2,000 due to the booming real estate market. "The reality of the situation is that the Lower East Side is prime real estate and the rents are a little crazy," he told DNAinfo.
In the interim, Lopez has moved his business to a Grand Street showroom,but still intends to find another retail space on the Lower East Side. But for Lopez—who grew up in the neighborhood's LaGuardia Houses—and others in similar situations, this simply echoes every frustration that's already been voiced about gentrification.
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