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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Scenes & Sightings: A new restaurant would be nice but there’s nothing like free parking

Echo Park, parking

Free parking – for now

By Hayley Fox
Echo Park, real estate, development

Cars now fill the space of proposed restaurant | Spacecraft

ECHO PARK — As parking in Echo Park gets increasingly difficult — especially on weekend nights — residents have to get creative with where they find open spots. That’s why some  have turned to the triangle, dirt lot on the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Montana Street.

Located across from the KFC/Taco Bell hybrid, this space now hosts about a dozen parked cars a day. Following in the footsteps of Echo Park’s other famous, makeshift gas station turned parking lot, Magic Gas, this Glendale Boulevard space may soon become a functioning business.

After many previous failed attempts to take over this space, one developer has been pushing forward with plans to turn it into a restaurant with a rooftop dining terrace. Armen Ross, a consultant working with the developer, said the project is paused while they wait on word from the zoning administrator.

Many residents have already expressed concern that the project will only increase noise and worsen a shortage of street parking  in the area. So, enjoy those extra parking spaces while you can.

Hayley Fox is an L.A. native now living in Echo Park. After getting her master’s in journalism at the Annenberg school, Fox worked at public radio station KPCC 89.3 where she wrote and produced stories for online and on-air. She covered mostly downtown L.A. and South L.A. news, as well as covering city-wide crime, breaking news and the occasional adorable animal story.

6 comments

  1. You can thank ex-Councilman and now Mayor Eric Garcetti for this project and some loss of parking for the public there.

    This lot was not zoned for a project of that scale. The developer bought it accordingly cheap. Then he easily got Garcetti to close down the adjacent street behind it from Glendale to Montana, and had that land turned over to the developer FREE. With that additional space, this size project was enabled — at taxpayer expense of free land, a free gift. Garcetti went to the extreme to make sure a larger project could be done than otherwise would have been allowed on a lot that size. And there has been controversy about the size of project ever since.

    So, the loss of the street parking for the public (it will now be devoted to only this project’s customers) on that now vacated street is thanks to Garcetti, and the controversial size of this development is also Garcetti’s doing.

  2. This is extremely disappointing. I’ve seen production cars parked there quite often, as I live nearby, but I assumed that was because the lot was being rented out by the owners for parking as the lot is vacant. I didn’t know it was going to be developed.

    I always thought this would make a great spot for a pocket park. There’s no open space or greenery along this stretch of Glendale/Alvarado, and the lot is just simply too small for a building to be built at all. Some nice benches, some local plants and bit of creativity could make this a wonderful space for the community.

    Also — not sure what Mike is going on about, but Lake Shore between Glendale and Montana is not shut down or a “Vacated” street. I drive on that stretch of Lake Shore every day, and it is still very much open for the public to park/drive through.

    • A great park for the area is…Echo Park. Which is only two blocks away.
      What would have been nice is if the Angelus Temple sold reasonable spots in its giant parking garage, so that people could have a place to park. Instead, it mostly sits empty, except on Sunday morning.
      The restaurant and bar hipsters won’t even be up then – so there’s no conflict.

  3. Free parking? There is no such thing as “free parking”, someone always ends up subsidizing it. Anyway, carpool, Lyft, bike or bus.

  4. If people would learn how to park in Echo Park we would have a lot more parking. Unfortunately most of these new folks haven’t mastered the art of parallel parking yet and seem to need to take up two spaces at a time, every time.
    We live in a city, folks. If you can’t parallel park with three inches on either side then move back to The Valley.
    This lack of parking skills needs to be addressed!!!

    • Thank you Kelly. I have been a resident of Echo Park & SilverLake since 1961. We live in a city, we go & shop spending money here at our local businesses for many years. We love our hills and nice wide streets and free parking is our right. We pay our taxes for street & sidewalk maintenance. The city has neglected this in the last 10 ten years. Self entitled new transplants, who can not drive let alone properly park car and over priced parking meters & lots have to go. My mother & I use to enjoy walking down our hill to Griffin Park Blvd. to Sunset Blvd. to take the bus. Those days are over. She is in her late 70s now and has some difficulty with her legs. She misses our very, very long walks all about the city. We did the math. With all her doctor appointments everywhere & beyond, we are better off with our car. We take her friends from senior group to pickup their medication and other errands. We don’t charge or ask for gas money. There is such a thing as “FREE PARKING”. I agree & love what Kelly said. BTW- Mom is 1st and I am 2nd gen. born in downtown of the City of Los Angeles. Inner city gals for life.

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