Great Wall of Silver Lake may be replaced by a wall of condos

Renderings from Loopnet

The giant retaining wall that snakes high above Riverside Drive west of Fletcher Drive and another mark the spot where property owners have long planned to build a large residential project. Now, the property owners have put the approximately six acre parcel – called RiverGlen 120 – up for sale for $10.5 million. What can you do with a narrow strip of of land wedged between a steep hill topped with retaining walls and across the street from the 5 Freeway? How about build 120 condos stacked four stories high above two stories of parking, according to the property listing and renderings.  The wall of condos would stretch about 1,000 feet along Riverside Drive to the west of an existing apartment complex that also stretches about another 1,000 feet.

While the view of the 5 Freeway may not be a selling point for future condo owners, the listing mentions that the parcel is  “very walkable to multiple fitness studios, cafes, boutiques” and near a Gelsons and Trader Joe’s.  The property is also close to two other developments, one up the hill on Waverly Terrace and the other on Rowena Avenue, that will add more than 100 units of housing to the north end of Silver Lake (see map below).


View North Silver Lake development in a larger map


  1. breathe in that clean air

  2. If they’re going to claim this is in a pedestrian friendly location (it’s certainly not), I really hope the NC can convince the developers and/or the city to invest in substantial pedestrian improvements to the area.

    For starters, there aren’t even sidewalks on portions of Glendale Blvd. (like the east side of the street between Riverside and Waverly, and the west side between Farwell and the Ralphs). And how about painting some crosswalks where LADOT has omitted or removed them.

    The location may be close (as the crow flies) to a few shops and the elementary school, but that doesn’t mean people will actually walk when several key connections to the commercial strips and rest of neighborhood is designed like a rural highway.

  3. I remember when the developer took out all those beautiful trees and now they are selling. It could have been a great continuation of the Corralitas Red Car Trail from Elysian to Griffith Park. http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/ Maybe they will work in a trail continuation with a new developer.

  4. this is certainly an upgrade over the retaining wall that is constantly tagged up and i like the look of the renderings. I really wish that the city would invest in improving Riverside drive. so much potential there. Underground the wires, new sidewalks and landscaping and i think the medians are wide enough to landscape with a bike route. it should go all the way from Griffith park to at least Dodger Stadium. it would link two great parks with a bike path and greenscape and drastically improve the area.

    • Good call D – make it a landscaped connecting parkway linking Griffith and Elysian Parks….and more connection to it’s namesake the LA River.

  5. Gone will be the days of driving down that stretch of Riverside Dr. and looking over and realizing that I’m going faster than the cars on the 5.

  6. perfect timing

  7. I continually wonder why planners approve new high density housing right next to freeways. There is alot of data showing that the air within the first 1/2 mile of a major freeway contains cancer causing fine particulates.. from auto and diesel exhaust, tiny tire bits, brake dust, etc.

    Additionally, we really don’t need more housing until we get the transportation infrastructure fixed. Otherwise, we’ll just have more cars, more congestion, more pollution, more lines, more crowds… lower quality of life.

  8. Personally I feel like this is the kind of development Los Angeles should be steering towards, and away from small lot subdivisions in the middle of quaint neighborhoods.

  9. When this project (The Menlo Property) was going through the public hearing and appeal process, the developer publicly agreed to the community’s and SLNC UD&PAC’s request for a tree planted median in the middle of Riverside Drive (with cut-outs for left & U turns) for a significant stretch (if my memory serves – around 900′) of Riverside Drive between Fletcher and Glendale Blvd. They showed us plans for it too. However, because it was a “voluntary” request it is not a required condition for approval. The City Council Office, CD4, failed to support it as a required condition for approval.

    We also requested – as a required condition for approval – an accessible sidewalk on the Glendale Blvd portion of the existing RiverGlen Apartments, owned by the appllicant: Sam Menlo & Century Quality Management. City Planning, PLUM and CD4 failed to make this a condition for approval.

    The plan is to remove almost the entire slope they stabilized in the early 2000’s (after 20 years of neglect). The estimate on the submitted plan includes 212 grading days and removal 63,500 cubic yards of earth.

    Of course, they’ll also have to remove the soldier piles (concrete & steel pilings) put into the slope for support in the early 2000’s. They agreed to SLNC UD&PAC’s request to limit grading to M-F to give neighbors a break, which is in the conditions for approval by City Planning.

    City Council File # 10-0716 for VTT 70871

    • Drove up Glendale today and it looked like they were moving the utility poles inward by about 10 ft from the street at the west side of RiverGlen. There is also a street notice board that Glendale will be closed again at Rowena starting 4/9 but the DWP project is finished on that stretch so maybe the new Waverly development is putting sidewalks in there finally (fingers crossed!)

      • Yes, the new Waverly project is supposed to be putting sidewalks on Glendale Blvd. I’m hoping for a crosswalk, too. The DWP project is starting more work on 04/09. A different portion on Glendale Blvd. will be closed. Not looking forward to the traffic jam.

  10. I wonder if the developers will use the fact that the development is in the Ivanhoe school boundres as a selling point.

  11. That retaining wall was the start of a similar project many years ago that the neighborhood, including Elysian Valley, fought bitterly. That was as far as the project got before the developer went bankrupt from the delays. Well, now it rears its ugly head.

    Of course, last time around we didn’t have Garcetti and LaBonge bending over backwards to accommodate the developer! And that effort doesn’t start and end at their refusal to make any of those conditions mandatory; they started way back when they ran the homeless out of there, where homeless had been living out of campers and cars away from any residential area for at least 50 years. Ran them right out, with no where for them to go — except maybe to a sidewalk in front of your home. Did NOTHING for the homeless but roust them, clear them out to start clearing the way for this development. And then had a special photo op to brag about what they had done.

    Garcetti and LaBonge have been in this developer’s pocket for quite a while now, so of course they would not make those conditions mandatory. Remember what a “liberal” Garcetti is and how he was so helpful with this project when he runs for mayor.

  12. Can anyone cite a proposed development in the SL EP area that has not gone forward because of community opposition? This relentless development at the expense of nature and neighborhood seems to be a depressingly unstoppable force.

  13. really? I mean really? cause all those other ugly condos right next to freeways filled up so fast that we need more. Who’s stuffing who’s pockets here cause that last thing we need is more condos and less independent business.


  14. mta should by the lot and the rest of te old red line route down tot he 2 freeway and build a glendale spur of the gold line through echo park dilver lake into atwater village and ending in Glendale at the galleria

  15. This will bring in a lot more stakeholders that will push for greater river revitalization. I’m all for it. Plus, that is a pretty good looking solution for a 1k stretch of building.

  16. Although I normally support greater density, if the city doesn’t run a frequent bus down Glendale, then this will just mean lots of cars. This sort of thing should either be built along Sunset, or with a transit agreement of some sort. Unless they expect these people to commute by bike down the LA River, which doesn’t go anywhere yet.

  17. Regarding the air quality issue. The State has a guideline advising against placing housing within 500 feet of a freeway. The City has and continues to ignore this. When this project was approved the Neighborhood Council did manage to get a requirement included that would retrofit the existing 150+ unit apartment building at Glendale & Riverside with state of the art air filtration. Who knows if the City will bother to make this happen

  18. Does anyone know for whom the memorial on Riverside Drive, right at the 5 Freeway onramp is for? It’s the one that usually has multiple bouquets of flowers stuck in the chain link fence, and often has the words “NEVER FORGET.”

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *