Former Silver Lake Coffee Table property up for sale

Proposed Rowena Townhomes

The developer that demolished the former Coffee Table cafe and other nearby buildings to make way for a condominium project  has put the Silver Lake property up for sale only about a year after purchasing the site. Miami-based 15 Group did not set an asking price for the 1.25-acre site on Rowena Avenue that can accommodate 40 homes, according to marketing information. But the same property sold for about $8.2 million a year ago, according to online property records.

The Eastsider has contacted the 15 Group, which is also developing projects in Boyle Heights and Echo Park, to find out why it put the Rowena Townhomes on the market. Earlier this year, Justin Barth, an executive with the firm, said he expected a 45 -unit project to be completed within two years, with prices for the three-story homes ranging from $500,000 to $600,000. In addition, 15 Group had tentatively been set aside for a cafe or retail use if a buyer can be found.

Land Advisors, the brokerage firm handling the sale, said offers are due August. 8


  1. And so it begins…catching on that their really isn’t that much of a housing crisis. I expect we are going to see a lot more of this.

  2. I was starting to wonder why nothing but the growth of weeds was happening here. What a waste.

  3. Developer Greed

    Do we know if the 15 Group got the entitlement to build 45 units? That is their strategy with the Wyvernwood Apartments in Boyle Heights. Get the entitlement from the city and county to build those high rises, then sell the property at a profit without sweating the construction process. The only people that lose in this developer shell game is the community because the new developers have to keep no promises made to the community by 15 Group.

  4. thanks for taking away my neighborhood breakfast spot and giving me… nothing in return. way to blight a neighborhood that you’re not even a resident of. jerks!

  5. Dear greedy developers, please leave our coffee shops, bugalows, open spaces and ma & pa shops alone. Please go back to Santa Monica with your silly modernist townhomes, because, as you will see when the fences are torn down and the seeds distributed, we would much rather have a PARK!

  6. My wife and I walked by that lot the other day and we both wondered what was going on. Glad I”m not an investor in the 15 Group. I doubt if they’re going to turn that weed patch for a profit at this point.

  7. What a bunch of jerks.

  8. Mixed emotions here. Angry that this idiot developer tore down a neighborhood gem (and the city allowed them to do it without ensuring they would finish the job), but hopeful that someone will come along to develop this lot into something better than what they were planning. dogzilla – i’m with you. f’ing a-holes.

  9. slowdownonlaguna

    45 units (not just units, but houses) on 1.25 acres? For $550,000 on average? What is this world coming to? I feel so bad for the people that will end up buying these. Well, it’s not my fault they’ll be able to hear their “next door neighbors” taking a dump. They could’ve taken my advice by reading this comment, and NOT BOUGHT into these developers bullshit. Same goes for the people buying across from Magic Gas at “36 on Echo Park” or whatever awful name these original developers (who live 3,000 miles away) came up with. Also, I want my coffee table breakfast back.

  10. It’s probably going to be a dirt lot for awhile. Time for some guerrilla gardening! If it’s still empty come fall rain, I’ll toss some seeds over the fence and see what happens.

  11. That’s a real shame.

  12. Perfect spot for a little park!

  13. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council has to approve all development projects in the area. The chair of their urban design and preservation committee is an amazing woman who works hard to assure good development in our neighborhood. I am sure she is appalled by this turn of events and will advocate for a better development on this plot of land. There might actually be a silver lining to this. You can get involved with the the urban design committee if you have strong feelings about the use of this land: http://silverlakenc.org/urban-design-preservation/

    • Sorry, but I’d have to disagree that this reflects well on the SLNC or any of the other governmental bodies with oversight over this project. Being appalled after the fact does not count as a good outcome, or evidence of hard work. I’m actually pretty sick of hearing “oops” from SLNC, the Garcetti office, or other city departments AFTER the trees have been chopped down, the building demolished, or the restaurant put out of business. Then to have the developer abandon the plans that were used to justify the demolition, leaving nothing, is just rubbing salt in the wound. Seems like that outcome should have been avoidable.

      Like Cristi says below, demolition never should have been approved before the developer demonstrated that they had all necessary permits–and sufficient funds–to begin construction immediately and follow it through to conclusion.

      • That’s much easier said than done. With the super depression still going strong, do you really expect everyone who walked away from their debts to come full circle and now start paying them back? I doubt the developer really wanted to walk away from this project, since it does take some form of cash up front to get these projects going. I bet a few people were bankrupted from this. If you don’t allow some of the risk to go away with real estate when the economy goes bad, nothing would ever get built. I am not making excuses for all of the eyesores around LA, but that’s how building works. With that throwing seeds comment above, I am surprised I don’t see oak trees sprouting up on some of these forever vacant lots, as that might put a kink into doing anything with deserted properties.

  14. Not like it worked well for the Allesandro/El Moran development (grading permit before tree fall), but how about imposing a requirement that in order to complete demolition before new construction, you must have approved grading/building permits in hand?

    • Cristi: Did you know that a city personnel stated that there were mistakes and misinterpertations regarding the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists Tract?

      • Does the STST moniker include that property? I never knew where it started/ended. As for the “mistakes”, no…I never heard decisively where it all went wrong with Garcetti/LADBS/DF et. al. At least there they are indeed moving forward…somewhat. Still waiting on approval for their retaining walls me thinks. Those concrete block pallets have been there for a week+.

        • We are referring to the same development. Some one was recording a public meeting in which the term “mistakes and misinterpertations” was used.

    • That’s a good idea up to a point. But are you telling me that if you own a property you want the city to tell you if you can tear anything down on it? That’s what would end up happening along with fees if you move a stone on your property. I know that sounds outlandish, but the city is strapped for cash.

  15. would it be wonderful if this land could be donated/ bought by an affordable housing developer (like PATH Ventures or A Community of Friends) who could build housing for our working class and formerly homeless community members.

  16. WHOOPee – Can’t wait till Eric Garcetti becomes mayor and the Developers will really rule the land. We can talk about the good old day when he allowed Developers to demolish whole blocks like they did at Sunset Junction. Lets the Good time Developers Rule.

  17. My guess is low income housing.

  18. ahhh, Capitalism

  19. Greedy bastards.They should rot in hell, the lot of em.

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