“Then & Now” is a special series that looks to capture a portion of Emeryville History and spotlight the small and vibrant business community that the former industrial city has evolved into.
The Historic Park Avenue District lives up to its “mixed-use” designation. A community that consists of small businesses, big businesses, warehouses and converted warehouse residential. It’s easy to forget how far Emeryville has come when you look around you. What was once smokestacks and railroads is now an eclectic mix of residents and retail. Every building around us that you look at had a “former life” as something else reflective of that era. One of those businesses is Lux Estate Liquidation at 1501 Park Avenue.
The former Westinghouse Pacific Coast Brake Company (shown in the picture above) built in 1912 to manufacture air brakes has surely lived many lives. The Western section of the Building is currently leased by Editions Limited, a publisher and distributor of fine art reproductions. The adjacent Eastern portion of the warehouse has been owned and operated as Buttner Properties by a Piedmont business lady for the past several decades. Since I rooted myself in Emeryville, it has mostly existed as a furniture warehouse for EQ3 and about a year ago, became an Estate liquidation Warehouse.
Jesse Mazzio has been in the niche Estate Liquidation business since the 60’s and most recently in Oakland where he leased a warehouse on 40th & Webster. When he outgrew his space and sought to consolidate his fragmented operations, he first looked to West Berkeley but found the process a bit daunting as his public event model would be subject to an 8 month review (without any guarantees!). Jesse was extremely delighted with the city of Emeryville’s more streamlined approach. “They worked WITH you” he calmly said referring the city’s relatively bureaucratic-free business climate.
Jesse along with his partner/wife Christa and the appropriately named “Big John” on security detail held his his second open-to-the-public liquidation sale this past weekend where he sold a collection of Mid-Century and Victorian era antique furnishings, accents and jewelry. Thousands of dealers, collectors and bargain-hunters descended on his 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse that showcased a collection amassed from anywhere from 10-15 individual estates including an array of consignment items. In addition to these bimonthly liquidation sales, Jesse also holds private showings and even arranges on-site Estate sales. A selection of his merchandise can be seen on his blog and more info about their services on their website at luxappraisers.com.
Historic image from “Images of America – Emeryville” available for purchase on the Arcadia Publishing Bookstore.