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Monday, September 1, 2014

Failed Echo Park townhouse project up for sale

The bank that owns the former Durbin condo project at Echo Park and Delta avenues has put the 36-unit property up for sale.  OneWestBank, which took control from the partially built project,  has not set an asking price but is accepting offers through the end of the month, said Timothy Barden, a marketing consultant for  Land Advisors Organization, which has been hired to find a buyer. Barden said  the offers would be evaluated at the end of the month but would not say when and if an offer would be selected.

The property has gone up for sale nearly two years after construction was halted on the condominiums, leaving behind the skeleton of unfinished buildings framed in blue-tinted wood.  Last October, OneWestBank  took control of the project from developer Angeles Group after a prolonged standoff over the fate of the property.

How much will this property fetch? Barden would not comment. But Echo Park real estate broker Ken Shapiro told clients in an email that the 36 units would probably sell for a total of $18 million when completed. He said:

“Therefore, just do your due diligence, figure out how much it is going to cost to take this project to completion and then work backwards from there to determine the offering price.”

18 comments

  1. PARK! PARK! PARK! PARK! Anybody want to chant it with me? Maybe the apt across the street? Just roll up your windows and yell PARK!

  2. 18 million? Really? Says, who? Oh, a real estate broker. Due your due diligence. Figure out how much the bank is out on the project and then make an offer based on that.

    Nobody knows how much a “finished” project will fetch in a year or two. Nobody even knows if they will sell — look at all the other “new” condos in the neighborhood and that are still unsold. You would be foolish to make a offer based on that.

  3. Sorry, but the $18 million figure seems a bit ridiculous. That’s an average of $500,000 per unit, which does not seem realistic for that area. To be on the safe side, if I were considering buying the development, I’d estimate an average of $350,000 per unit.

  4. $500K per unit is a joke. Even if they were built well, which they won’t be. Why do people move to Echo Park? A little slice of paradise with a view to Downtown or the hills surrounding it. Which means a piece of land with a place to BBQ and enjoy the weather. A condo don’t cut it here. I think $350K is even too much. I’d say $240 below, maybe $300 above. Which would yield something like $9.5M if you sold every unit. So how much is this half-finished project worth? I’d say half of that at best. Somewhere between $4M-$5M.

  5. If Garcetti were smart, he would have found a way to help the community take it over as a nonprofit center and community green space.

  6. As long as anything active happens with it, I’ll be happier. It’s been an eyesore and garbage magnet for two years now.

    Of course, a park would be great, but how does something like that happen?

  7. a self funding flea market and farmers market space……..permanant stalls rented on a daily basis………18 million is that a joke,in this economy….

  8. So sad that the people who lived on that property and the nursing home were forced out! For what? I knew this was going to be a nightmare. And really a park? We already have a park, it’s called Elysian Park with plenty of parking for cars. A swap meet (flea market)? Imagine the traffic over there? URGH!!!!

  9. i think many people have dreamed of this spot being a community garden or a park of sorts. the idea that this will probably be turned into some sort of soulless behemoth seems inevitable. i start to wonder– what if there was really a way to make this corner a reflection of the actual inhabitants of Echo Park? since i am a lazy musician, i will not lead this rebellion, but i would most passionately support any endeavors to keep Echo Park the best part of town, and this seems like a great central spot to do something cool. A park that features the local culture and artists, a community garden, game courts, something that promotes civic pride. If this turns into some modern loft garbage— just imagine the type of folk who would live there. The fabric of the neighborhood is changing, which is fine, lets just make sure it changes with a sense of itself. I hope some eastside philanthropist with 18 million dollars shows up, and soon.

  10. yeah, no park. get over yourselves transplants, it’s a wonderful thing that you guys have family money that can hold you up wherever you desire in LA or wherever you wish, but what this city needs is affordable housing for low income families, they shouldnt be shoved to the more neglected parts of the county. it’s shameful to just want leisure. anyhow, ever heard of been to that park on park street? i think thats enough. aggree with not building anymore condos.

  11. Anything with street level shops… ideally ones that keep with the bohemian spirit of the neighborhood. Continue the pedestrian-ification of Echo Park. And above? Loft condos or low income housing? Or both? Let’s just hope the place looks decent and draws good residents who respect the neighborhood (rich or poor). I’d probably vote against a park/garden. Another park scant blocks from two awesome parks seems a little redundant.

  12. Elyisan Park is an incredible park. Unless you have a car or live close by, it’s difficult to access, especially with a stroller (okay, cue the eye rolls). I think to be able to turn Chicken Corner into a space that meets the needs of the community, which I think most of us agree is not a 40 unit condo project, would be ideal. We’re talking about a big piece of land that could include low income housing, some retail, a few nonprofit spaces, community theater art space and some green. With enough interest, not only from the community but from our reps and the city, I don’t think it’s impossible. The last time I checked, DWP has a lot of money.

  13. Transplants, people who take themselves seriously, those that don’t, rich people, poor people, mom’s, dad’s, angry comment writers, those threatened by change, those at peace – EVERYONE benefits from more open space and more nature. Why not more park? Why not community space? As for the real pipe dream; affordable housing is built in places where housing is affordable, not where people need it. The market decides that, and it already has. It’s not personal.

  14. well im glad atleast something is happening with this. Tear it down or build it already.

  15. how about a gym and a grocery store!

  16. I especially enjoyed Barden’s misuse of the term ‘due-dillegence’, a term used to shame developers out of doing things that are morally reprehensible, like evicting an entire block worth of people and families, while leaving your overpriced wooden skeleton to rot in the winter rains – for years while they try to unload it.

    This property was a full block of beautiful old bungalow apartments, which housed low income families and had plenty of green space connecting each. A community garden would be nice, but the Latino community would be better.

    People who have lived here for ages harbor no ill-will towards the upwardly-mobile equity immigrants who purchased homes here just as the property values were rising. But there were consequences, that LA as a whole never seems to learn from. Populations decline; landlords bondo the termite damage slap a coat of cheap latex paint on the places and raise rents. If the property is built prior to 1973 and subject to rent control, they do it by eviction, or unending construction. Doorbells and security buzzers are disconnected, cable or heating is “accidentally” cut, and in my case, day workers were paid just to hammer on all six surfaces of my exterior walls including the floor from below and ceiling from the roof – until the “accidentally” broke through one, leaving a gaping whole off my second floor living room and some very confused cats.

    The Latino families are always the first to feel this crunch, and eventually all you are left with is the people on section 8 housing, because they are difficult to evict when the rent check is so regular, and someone has to be accountable. No one living there can afford their own rent (priced to meet someone’s mortgage). And the shops, while cute, are forced to charge above people’s price range as well, and usually go under. The bohemian charm, goes the way of the bohemians – forced to move somewhere they can afford rent, and somewhere the landlords want them. Developers catch on to the “urban renewal” and do this kind of nonsense: buy up a whole block of occupied apartments. Your council-people are charmed by statistics announcing that LAs population will need new housing, and happy someone is finally paying attention to them.

    These units were amazing. They were on a slightly elevated piece of land, which added to the charm. They housed more than 40 units, and were taken over without any notice to the greater community. People were told to move and the places were boarded up immediately. As far as I know, it was done without protest. In a better world, the developers would pay to restore what they demolished. Now it’s worth the value of the land only. The shoddy un-tarped and unfinished construction is a mute point. “Due diligence” my bum.

    If the residents of Echo Park want to keep the charm, it will involve making Garcetti set up tenant’s rights workshops in Spanish, and all the council people knowing where you stand. Embrace the weakest and most easily exploited link in your neighborhood. Support the Echo/Elysian Parks by contributing to the EPHS and CCSEP (and for god’s sake someone make the CCSEP a real website):
    http://www.historicechopark.org/id89.html
    http://echopark.net/org/ccsep.html

    Go on one of the 2011 walking tours, if you can get them to confirm your RSVP.

    Our municipal government is giving away many tax and bond funded half finished projects to the same developers who abandon the less lucrative ones. See this article on one of many LAUSD debacles: http://echopark.net/schools/there-goes-the-neighborhood-2.html.

    LA is spending tons of money trying to green up downtown LA, while justifying the paving over of it’s surrounding communities, like the Elysian reservoir. Let the Board of Directors know that charm is not having an Olive Garden in driving distance, and that you care about every member of your community, not just your property values.

  17. If we could some how figure out how to put a park here, echo park could become the city of parks. it would be an oasis in los angeles and improve the lives of the whole city.

  18. I glad that those town houses were never built. Did any of you go on their website and see how hideous they were? The were “designed” in a cookie cutter suburban town house style more suited to North Hollywood than the East Side.
    It would be nice if the new development design paid homage to the many craftsman or mid century modern homes in the area. I agree with the person that mentioned that the ground floor should be store fronts, but the most important thing is parking, since there is very little street parking available in that area.
    I REALLY HOPE that the new developer fixes the two huge pothole/trenches that have scarred that section of the street for years! The rotting eye sore on the lot is bad enough, but those potholes are horrible!

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