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Famed San Francisco Toy Store To Close After Landlord Raises Rent To $40,000 A Month

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – One of the last toy stores in San Francisco is the latest victim of exploding rents. After receiving a letter from their landlord demanding a big increase, Jeffrey's Toys on Market Street will shut down.

Mark Luhn's family owns Jeffery's, having been in the toy business since 1946. The family had stores in San Leandro and Hayward early on, Jeffrey's in San Francisco since 1970. That will end this April.

"At the moment right now, we are being told we are not getting a renewal for a new lease, and that we have literally just days before we have to move out," Luhn told KPIX 5.

Rent could go up five times to $40,000 a month. It's an old story in San Francisco.

"This is just one of the little, tiny, independent small business, momma poppa shops that can open up somewhere else and thrive. But in San Francisco, we're all going away," Luhn said.

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"It bums me out. It's a little bit less character. It's a little bit, changes a little bit of what's unique about San Francisco," said Alexandra Fraser, a customer at Jeffrey's.

Jeffrey's is unique, thought to be the first American store to carry Legos back in 1973 and first with Smurfs, as well. Pixar illustrators came to the store before drawing up "Toy Story."

But this is a story about toys, without a happy ending.

"You can't find a shoe repair, you can't find a magazine shop, a book shop, where's the nearest bakery? Donut shop? They're all gone, all of them," Luhn said.

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