A ribbon of land where the legendary Red Car trolley once rumbled through the hills and canyons of northeast Silver Lake has served as an unofficial neighborhood greenbelt – as well as dumping ground – since the last street car traveled down this path more than half a century ago. Now, the former Red Car right-of-way has been put up for sale as a potential development site where more than 170 homes could be built, according to brokers handling the sale. But neighborhood activist Diane Edwardson, whose Corralitas Red Car Property blog is named after the approximately 10-acre strip of land, disputes that figure and doubts the most recent attempt to sell and develop the land will go very far.
“Developers have tried and failed to develop the Red Car Property for more than 30 years,” said Edwardson. “Even when they’ve gotten entitlements, they failed to develop the property.”
The Hoffman Co., a land broker, is marketing the property as “The Meadow at Silverlake.” Much of the property consists of an approximately 100-foot wide ribbon of land that bulges out at the tips, which are described in the listing as “potential development nodes,” according to the sales listing on LoopNet. No asking price was provided. The Meadow at Silverlake is “the last piece of land between East Hollywood and Boyle Heights that is residentially-zoned, buildable and is not already spoken for by a developer,” according to the listing.
While the listing claims there is “the potential to build up to 178 homes” on the property, Edwardson said that only five duplexes could be built without a public hearing.
Edwardson and other Silver Lake neighbors were working to preserve the property as open space several years ago when the current owner purchased it for about $360,000, she said.
“Anyone who thinks they can make a killing on the Red Car Property would do well to review all the previous City Planning case files for the site,” Edwardson said. “This neighborhood organizes like no other.”