The corner of State and Cota streets had been an outlier for downtown issues, noted for the longevity of its tenants — Joe’s Café arrived in 1985 after a lifetime down the block — until Aaron Brothers, which had stood for 30 years, succumbed to market forces. When the frame shop closed in July, it joined 90 others being shuttered by parent company Michael’s arts and crafts emporium.
The old store reflected its history, said Rob Adams, a commercial real estate broker with Lee & Associates. The current asking rent is about $20,000 per month for the 4,600 square-foot space, he said. It’s currently owned by Levy Affiliated Holdings LLC, a private real estate investment firm in Los Angeles that bought the lot in 2016.
Old timers may recall that the spot was once home to Southwick’s men’s store, itself a long-lived fixture on State Street. It started life as a tailor’s, then built itself back up after the 1925 earthquake. During the interval, it took up quarters at Craviotto’s Iron Works over on Anacapa and Ortega streets, a metal-paneled building that had stood since 1916 until falling two years ago to a proposed three-story average unit-size density project.