Rent Increase Forces Closure of Chicano Art Gallery - NBC 7 San Diego
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Rent Increase Forces Closure of Chicano Art Gallery

“The property owners, they want to make more money so they’re raising the rent to the point where I just can’t afford it any longer,” said Castañeda.

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    Final Art Show for Barrio Logan Gallery

    A popular art gallery in the heart of Barrio Logan is having it's final are show Saturday. NBC 7's Ramon Galindo has more. (Published Saturday, June 8, 2019)

    A popular art gallery in the heart of Barrio Logan will have its final show on Saturday.

    Chicano Art Gallery founder, Christian Castañeda, said he was forced to close after his rent was doubled. Neighbors are worried rising rents will push more long-time residents out of the neighborhood.

    “The property owners, they want to make more money so they’re raising the rent to the point where I just can’t afford it any longer,” said Castañeda.

    Castañeda opened the gallery six years ago and it soon became a staple of the Barrio Art District. Along with other galleries and shops, Chicano Art Gallery has turned this area into an art and food lover’s destination.

    “The inspiration is the community. Our culture,” said Castañeda.

    There are protests signs along Logan Avenue, which warn about the gentrification of Barrio Logan.

    “It’s something that we need to stand up against,” said Karlos Paez, owner of San Diego Vintage Clothing.

    Paez is hoping neighbors team up to keep the spirit of Barrio Logan alive for many years to come.

    “It’s a very sad thing when you start losing the people of color in the community. When they start leaving, that’s a big effect,” said Paez.

    Castañeda said he’ll still be an artist even without his gallery.

    “We’re definitely going to fight back. To me that’s not a question,” Castañeda said.

    He’s hoping his story will attract future investors that care about the community, and not just profit.