Developer planning 135 residential units in south Silver Lake

1.25-acres of Silver Lake went up for sale in Feb. 2014 | LoopNet

SILVER LAKE — It’s been a year since the approximately one-acre chunk of Silver Lake now occupied by Phil’s Transfer & Storage went up for sale at more than $10 million. Now, a developer wants to build 135 units of housing and 12,000-square-feet of ground floor commercial space on the site near Bellevue Avenue and Silver Lake Boulevard.

The project would be among the largest proposed in Silver Lake in recent years and comes as many residents have grown weary of new townhouse developments rising across the neighborhood.

The developer is scheduled to present plans to neighbors at a community meeting tonight, Feb. 23. While one resident who lives near the site said he was not notified of the public meeting,  a representative of the developer said tonight’s presentation would be the first of several public meetings.

The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Micheltorena Street.


  1. Who is the developer?

  2. This area around bellevue/silverlake blvd badly needs commercial development. Sounds like this could be a good start.

    • This area needs development because you live next door and want more traffic?

      • I lived next door, yes. The area is badly blighted, not up to the standards of the rest of the neighborhood, and being so close to the freeway could greatly benefit from commercial development. Complaining about traffic is the lowest form of NIMBYism.

        • Name-call as much as you like, the fact is that it currently takes an hour to go 10 miles, and double that on overpriced, sub-par public transit. Increase the density by X, and the traffic will go up by the same factor. It’s not rocket science.

          I know that goes against the glorious vague vision we all have in our head of this teeming, walking city. But the fact is most people will be driving to work because the planning that is happening now is not planning at all. It is just developers cashing in on writeups in forbes, WSJ and public radio about “hip” neighborhoods. Beyond that, there is no plan. None at all.

          This is not NY. LA is already at infrastructural capacity (well past it actually). No one wants to live in a gridlocked shit hole.

          • Increasing the density is the only thing that will save us from our current gridlocked shit hole. But near-sighted nimbys like yourself would prefer to shoot your foot to save your toe.

          • “Infrastructural capacity”, LOL! No, we’re definitely not! If that were true we’d be flush with tax revenue to fix our aging infrastructure.

            We’re at car capacity, but all big cities are. We have plenty of room for infill development and economic growth. We just need to shift our land use and transportation policies towards modes of travel with greater capacity (walking, cycling, bus-only lanes, more rail lines.)

          • Wrong.
            The thing that will help is a real city planning.
            Too long this town has been controlled by developers that wanted high density housing that brought us all the gang problems.
            We need real city planning not developers running the town into the ground.

  3. Freeway close – this seems like a pretty good location. Better than further clogging up the Sunset corridor. It’s good to see the center of gravity of development shifting south.

  4. Besides looking completely bland and sterile the worse thing about these types of developments are the bland and sterile people that they bring in. Cant ya’ll just stay in the OC? where you belong!

  5. Nope residents who live on Dillon Street were NOT notified via paper hand-outs. I live on DIllon Street (6XX), and we only found out because we are on the neighborhood watchlist email group. Otherwise, the developers did not notify the nearby residents.

  6. The corner where Phil’sis located (where Dillon, Silver Lake Blvd, and Bellevue Street meet) attracts both homeless folks, plus drug dealers. And the walls of Phil’s buildings are constantly written on with graffiti.
    The drug pushers (or sellers) sit on the small ledge located on Mom’s Donuts facing Dillon & Phil’s; or they park their cars/ vans/bikes off Dillon adjacent to Mom’s Donuts, waiting for their customers. And customers do come by.
    Most of the homeless (meth users) live under the 101 freeway, specifically 2 blocks away under the freeway underpass on Vendome; or the 101 underpass on Silver Lake Blvd. .

    Last Tuesday 2/17, there was a daytime shooting, circa 10:30 a.m., on Dillon Street, right next to the former Thrifty Wash laundry-mat. The car speed away. Dillon Street was closed off for a couple of hours.

    That former Thrifty-Wash laundry-mat, which has been closed down for a few months,, was the place the drug dealers& customers were coming in and out from.

    I hope the developers take all the above points into consideration. Maybe the Mikron Liquor, former Thrifty Wash , Mom’s Donuts pseudo strip mall scene will be cleaned up!

    And my family and I will be attending tonight’s meeting. We own property on DIllon, and so far there is always parking available since there are single homes or duplexes on the street.
    Will the developers provide 1 or 2 parking spaces for each one of those units to be built on that location?
    I doubt it.

  7. I find it laughable that those underemployed folks who have never owned anything other than an Iggy Pop record are always trying to stop people from building new housing in place of a slum or otherwise older building which just needs to be torn down for any number of valid reasons. But in THIS case, it’s a storage facility to be replaced by housing! And there are screamers about this? Unreal…

    And have you ever noticed one common thing about the loud anti-gentrification folks? They are usually white, and live in places where the majority of people are non-white. Yet they don’t consider themselves gentrifiers. Are we all supposed to assume that THEY are the “good white people” and any other white person (e.g. those with a JOB or who aren’t a self-designated “artists”) aren’t good white persons and therefore just not welcome?

    I really wish the anti-gentrification folks would just move away, take their hideous tattoo shops with them, and find a town that won’t be gentrified soon. Maywood. Yep, move to Maywood.

    • Steve,
      You live here? In the immediate vicinity?

      • I live very very close, in a highly congested area so I get that angle of it. I do not mind people seeking congestion limitations,FYI.

        The city does require parking spaces for each unit, by city code.

        What bothers me are people trying to dictate to land owners what not to tear down, what to build, and name calling young families who want to move into a changing neighborhood. They get called gentrifiers and breeders, and other names which are supposed to insult but in turn really just splash back at those angry folks, and display the vacuousness of their lives.

        • Uh actually people do get to “dictate” what gets built through a number of direct and indirect ways. Its called the civic process. Buying land is not an automatic permit to build whatever you want regardless of the short and long term impact on the environment and the community.

          • Yes, Mike, you can complain at a “community hearing” all you want. Rarely does it amount to anything. Sometimes though it does, but rarely. But no, just because someone happened to rent a room in 90026 does not allow them to dictate.

          • You can complain at a community hearing. You can organize your community and address your your councilman. You can run for neighborhood councils, city council, You can get on planning committee, you can sue. There are lots of things that people ARE doing now that work.

            Why do you think the Bates development changed their design three times and still isn’t built, Dana Hollister has been stopped at least twice ( Bates and Micheletorina), The development on Hyperion where the coffee shop was still isn’t built due to community opposition, It took 10 years to get the meadow open. several establishments have been denied to open a place that serves alcohol.

            Bottom line if enough of the community doesn’t want it its hard to get passed.

    • What do you suppose the fabled new crop of urban professionals are going to do when they find themselves in a cramped, noisy, under-served, gridlocked city with bad schools, homeless throngs and with little to no access to their local politicians who are too busy falling over them selves to let more developers build LED billboards and heinous 1990s beach houses everywhere?

      The ones who find that the hourly wage available at the retail store on the ground floor doesn’t cover the mortgage on their $800,000 affordable “home” will still be driving 10 miles to work (a task which already takes an hour), will no doubt begin to wonder why they left the nice, quiet, safe suburbs…

      After the second white flight, the beach house developments will be slummified just like the Victorians and Craftsmans before them except that slumlords will be phoning holding companies of long-dead manufactured building component-makers trying to get a replacement siding panel to replace that one that took a bullet during a drive-by before rigging it up with home-depot crap.

      Driving an hour to go 10 miles is not fun, but no one is going to choose to take two hours to go the same distance on Los Angeles’ joke of a transit system (which still lacks line maps in the buses and charges for every transfer). So just take the traffic now, and multiply it by the increase of houses you are hoping for, and try to imagine how lovely that will be.

      • For the record, the James who wrote the comment above isn’t the same James (yours truly) who has been commenting on articles on the Eastsider under the name James for the past few years. I think I need to find a more unique name.

        • How about including your last name? Or would that limit you from from saying all this bs?

          Why doesn’t everyone who writes comments here use their real name? Otherwise it seems like all of your comments are what I used to see scrawled on the stalls of bathroom toilets before there was an internet.

          If you have a comment, any comment, why are you afraid to own it?

          • Paul, if I posted my name, I would be getting calls at my office. So, no, it isn’t cowardly. I certainly don’t care to learn the names of the posters here. What wold I do with it? Many of the comments are intriguing on so many levels.

      • So much bullsh*t, it’ hard to know where to begin!

        Metro offers transfers now: http://www.metro.net/news/simple_pr/metro-fare-changes-offering-free-2-hour-transfers-/

        The middle class aren’t leaving densely populated cities, they’re flocking to them (check Craigslist rents for apartments in SF, DC, NYC, Seattle, etc. etc.) Central LA has a long way to go before approaching that kind of consistent density.

        And if anything, more development means more tax revenue to support our schools and parks and streets and whatnot. Perhaps you should just move to the suburbs if that’s what you enjoy. Nobody’s forcing you to live in the middle of the second largest city in the country.

  8. Steve M. your Iggy Pop record reference was hilarious. I will tell you this, the ugly, run down houses and bldgs. we all have to look at as part of our daily life can be nothing shy of depressing and the longer a person lives in this saddness the more they become depressed themselves. So I agree that sprucing up a neglected part of town can do nothing but brighten all of our spirits. And a busy building will attract less crime than a dilapidated old warehouse. The word gentrification has gotten a bad wrap. Silver Lake used to be a place to drive to to get a bag of China White at a corner and drive back to the valley with before you got stabbed. Now it is a decent little town where women can walk their French Bulldogs off leash at 8pm. So kudos to gentrification!

    But here is the problem that will come around to bite all of us in the a$$… dense development. I don’t think people are thinking of the long term ramifications of housing that bring too many new people into an area where there was just an abandoned building. Those people bring cars with them. Where will those cars be parked? On your lawn? Those people bring noise and pollution and crime and everything else human beings tote around with them when they move from one place to another.

    We are not meant to live shoulder to shoulder with other people. It is unhealthy mentally, physically and spiritually. Living like rats piled up on top of each other makes life pretty dog gone unbearable! So if you are excited to have 500 + new neighbors than go for it. But if you aren’t now is the time to stop these runaway developments before they are built because once they go up it’s not like you can say “oh wait too many people live here now and make my life a living Hell so please come tear them down.”

    • Thank you Karen. I’m glad you appreciated the joke. Yeah, I’ve known some of those people. They tend to be the “gimme free stuff” people. They have no idea what it takes to run a business. They have no idea what risk is involved in spending such sums of money to build a large place like the one that is proposed.

      As far as congestion, yes, it’s a problem, but I don’t think we can stop the building. It’s part of free enterprise. New York survived it, (or did they?) . L.A. has such amazing weather, and especially relative to the east coast, this town will be in greater and greater demand, as it is right now. Who wants to live on the east coast if they can help it? Anyway, there IS a housing shortage here, as seen in monthly rent levels and housing prices. There is almost no vacant land to build.. Here a storage facility will be transformed into a nice place in a dumpy part of Silver Lake that will be less dumpy, so yes, I like it. 135 units will mean about 180-200 cars. I don’t think that will amount to any measurable congestion increase.

      • Rampant, insane overdevelopment that will eventually lead to flight and blight is not a given.

        Anyone old enough to remember knows that half of old town Pasadena had to be destroyed before the community got off its ass and put an end to it. So energized were they after that that they were able to stop the 710 from going through. I don’t want a two hour commute to work, and I certainly don’t want to lose what little historic character my neighborhood has to get it (current project notwithstanding). Not in my back yard, or my front yard, or yours or anyone’s for that matter.

        Always remember that it was thoughtless development and lack of community involvement that led to urban flight in the first place.

        • Wait one moment there junior. “Thoughtless development led to urban flight?” No. The urban development in the 1980s (the big office skyscrapers) brought people closer to the city center. In the 70s busing sent folks away, which was reasonable because they wanted the best education for their kids. How else would you explain the amount of the dreaded “evil white folks” back in town?

          • Cool theory you’ve got there. “Ford to City: Drop dead”

            While it’s true that increasing financialization of the economy in the 70s pushed many banks into commercial real estate, I don’t know that I would say the huge bank buildings near downtown are residential. I think it is clear that Los Angeles has suffered from too much business influence, and too little resident influence.

            If you talk to people who left more urban areas in the 70s and 80s, they will tell you many different reasons. I hear “crime” and “helicopters” more often than busing. IN any event, the urban flight started much earlier than busing.

            Here’s why people are investing in urban neighborhoods.
            First come the broke artists, gays and pioneering homeowners who aren’t afraid to get involved in their community and try to fix the school. The community begins to improve, but before long developers start noticing the place is getting “hot” and “trendy”.

            Within 20 years the children of the pioneers cannot afford to live there, and neither can the vast majority of the city.

            source: anyone from New York

          • Ray B., there isn’t a “reply” tab under your comment, so I will reply here. You’re right, urban flight began before busing. It was a combination of crime, upward mobility, new neighborhoods with newly built houses, better roads, – and yes, people wanting to live among their own racial and cultural types – which I would not call “racism” but is often indeed called that by many others. But now, with the commonness of interracial marriages (with a black/white marriage still rare) people do feel ok to live pretty much anywhere now, as long as crime and grime is minimal. Hence, downtown, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Eagle Rock and now NELA are ok for anyone to live in.

      • Steve M. You mention NYC. New York has lot’s of public space. General rule of thumb is if you’re going to stack people on top of each other you give them a public park ever few blocks. Los Angeles is bottom of the barrel in terms of public parks (45 out of 60), and theyre extremely slow to add more. Now these developers who dont even live anywhere near here are basically stealing our quality of life by staking us like sardines. You also mention congestion only in terms of parking…. What about getting around? IS adding thousands going to help traffic? I wonder if you dont finically benefit someway from these new developments?

        • I don’t financially benefit from any of this, at least no more directly than any one else, meaning we all benefit from a vibrant economy. People love to hate employers, and like employees. You can’t like only one. Builders are employers. They populate the area with available housing paid for by working people who make the economy better. If my neighbor is making money, then yes, we are all better off for it.

          I don’t pretend to know your motives, but I suspect you are one of those people who just resent successful people trying to make a neighborhood better. That includes gentrifiers and breeders (the dreaded straight people from some town other than 90026!) and what are known as yuppies, and anyone who doesn’t sit around and mope and remind the rest of us how cool they are. “Cool” being an 11th grade concept, there are many grown ups with arrested development who never seemed to get it.

          Question: What if the hills of Silver Lake were still undeveloped, and then an announcement was made that the land will be subdivided for housing. Where would you stand? I suspect you’d be against that, and I would favor it.

          • These builders dont even live here, Theyre OC croonies who have no interest in the community. And yes I am angry. Everytime I see a beautiful garden bungalow courts boarded up and raised for ugly, cheap condos surrounded by concrete, I get emotional. It’s appropriate to get angry in some cases…. These developments are not green, and I’m pissed that theyre being sold as being so. New development is extremely wasteful. The region is most likely already at over capacity for the amount of people we have (see the coming 50 year drought in LA times). The old craftsmans and Spanish revivals offer a great quality of life to average folk, better than the butt ugly cheap condos and mcMansions, and the allow the residences to plant and grow food if the want or native plants. This is really a scam to get poor people out and bring in new money, The city is bloated, and broke so they need the property tax revenue.. Cities and neighborhoods are more than their just their location but theyre also the old building and people who live there. I’m rambling obviously, but theres so much wrong with whats happening.

    • You do realize you live in a big city, correct?

      Living shoulder to shoulder with a large/diverse population, and the variety of economic and cultural opportunities that come with that is kinda the point. If you want open space and open roads, there’s no shortage of suburbs in Southern California.

      That said, it’s kinda hard to really judge this project without more details: what will it look like, how much parking will they build, will they offer any affordable units, etc.?

  9. In addition to the 170 plus cars we should expect from a building like this that is IF they are all one bedroom units plus visitors and what about that retail space on the bottom floor? Let’s not forget this building’s traffic could back right on up the 101 North fwy ramp at Silver lake. That will affect those of us in ALL parts of the neighborhood.

    Steve, you chose a highly dense area. We chose this area which was not highly dense before said building proposal. Major difference!

  10. “After the second white flight, the beach house developments will be slummified just like the Victorians and Craftsmans before them”

    Has there ever been a “second white flight” in the entire history of this country?

    • Folks, the “white flight” days are over, and have been for 3-4 decades. Anyone been downtown recently?

      Now it’s “black flight” and a good example is Compton, where more than 50% is hispanic.

      This racial neighborhood crap-talk has got to stop. Anyone can live anywhere they choose. And they do! And they do not need anyone’s approval.

      • >This racial neighborhood crap-talk has got to stop.

        Like it or not, it happened.

      • Steve M. you just proved that you’re not even from here and have no glue as to what you saying. 30-40 years ago White Flight happened? Maybe the textbook example, but L.A. was a freakin ghost town after the 92 riots and the Northridge quake. It wasn’t until gas prices went up and Bush lowered interest rates in 2002 that gringos came back.

        • I am from here. A “gringo” (as you say, oh and by the way, why are you so full of resentment towards white people. I imagine you too think racial hatred is petty. No?) born and raised in Los Angeles.

          The city following the riots became very quiet, but there wasn’t much in the way of people moving out. People stopped going out in a measurable way, no doubt. I hope you stayed home in late April, and early May, 1992. Or are you someone who enjoyed seeing business owners lose so much to people who simply saw an opportunity to take what was not theirs? Did that include you? You do seem like a man angry at whites and successful people. I hope I am wrong. And I hope you have (or will have soon) a marketable skill that some day yields you a lot of money. Maybe you can eventually build housing in place of some dilapidated structure near your current residence.

          And if you knew ANYthing about the Federal Reserve, you would know that a President cannot change interest rates. Maybe you were one of those “children left behind”?

  11. It seems to me that the thread that runs through many of these comments is peoples’ dread of MORE CARS. I wholeheartily agree! With single-occupancy vehicles being one of the major contributors to climate change, shouldn’t the attention be better served focusing on all residents REDUCING their singular driving? Did you see UBER has a new carpool app? Do folks know about the METRO app? Stand anywhere in this city and see one person per car over and over. CAR EXHAUST IS LITTER, folks!

    • Good point, people speak about traffic and parking as if it’s some kind of natural occurrence that we have no control over… like the rain, or erosion.

      People in LA choose to drive. And they do so largely because public policy is heavily skewed to encourage it at the expense of more cost-effective, environmentally friendly solutions.

      There’s other ways to live, and multimodal city certainly make for a more pleasant urban experience.

  12. If you went to the meeting last night you would know that this is the same developer who notoriously bulldozed the Spaghetti Factory Historical building on “accident”
    They all are known for “HOLLYWOOD AND HIGHLAND”
    Anyone want that coming to Silver lake?

    • Houston, it doesn’t matter whether you want it or not. People other than you need housing. Developers will provide it if there is a need. The fact that there will be occupants of the new housing shows that those occupants want it, and what YOU want is of minimal concern.

      • Let’s get this straight. Our city does not have a luxury housing shortage. It has an affordable housing shortage for thousands of mid-lower income people already living here. And we all know that developers aren’t going to build affordable housing any time soon. A lot of well to do folks are moving here from SF and NYC because it’s affordable compared to where they were living before. Also because of our great weather, although I don’t consider a place where it never rains to be a place with “great weather”. But our infrastructure is pretty screwed, public transport is screwed, and we’re way behind the rest of the country as far as rainfall is concerned. So we got a lot of empty luxury condos because some (or a lot) of the SF and NYC transplants don’t want to live in the same type of density that they had in the cities they moved away from. And they just drive up the market on on the cute little duplexes and wood clad houses in the hills of echo park and HLP.

        It’s sad developers don’t embrace more micro living like at Maltzan’s One Santa Fe. That is the type of development we can actually use. I’m rambling.

        • Developers don’t typically build affordable housing unless the government is subsidizing it. If something is brand new, it will probably cost more.

          But most economists agree that the more supply you build, the less pressure there is on all the older housing stock (which will help stabilize prices, so incomes can catch up… something LA desperately needs.)

          One thing that does make housing more expensive though is all the red tape and the parking requirements. Do we really need to have an extensive environmental review process and require giant parking garages whenever someone wants to build apartments in the flats near mass transit? If anything, this just makes traffic congestion worse by subsidizing driving, and it tends to produces some ugly, industrial scale buildings (to accomodate all that parking.)

    • People need housing! OMG lets bulldoze entire blocks of historic houses made from old growth redwood and stick people in giant soviet style apartment blocks. Afterall that’s exactly what San Francisco and Santa Barbara does. I heard Paris is going to demolish it’s entire downtown section of old, useless stone building to throw up some giant stucco Italian faux building that extends for blocks, after all Paris has a housing shortage……

      • Not for nothing, but Paris has it’s fair share of “Soviet-style housing blocks”. Besides, isn’t this just replacing some generic concrete warehouse and a surface parking lot?

        • This development I actually dont mind. I just hope they dont make the whole lot all concrete (which they always do). Why cant they leave just a tiny bit of green space in front of each unit? And the increased traffic is not going to make anyones’ lives better. Anyways that’s not really the point, the giant apartment complex’s in Paris are actually in the suburbs, not Paris central. The only countries that bulldoze their historic cores for ‘new and improved housing’ are fascist socialist (China, Soviets) or crony capitalist (USA).

          • Haussmann’s Paris hinged on some pretty hardcore demoing and redevelopment of their inner core.

            That said, I think historic preservation is very important, and should be integral to the process. But there’s plenty of banal buildings and strip malls in the area that don’t really fit that bill by any stretch of the imagination.

            Me personally, I’d just like to see development encouraged in the flats, and restricted more up in the hills. And less parking… it just ensures higher rents, more traffic and uglier building facades.

          • Corner Soul- I’m guessing you live in the hills? If theyre going to build high density housing…. than they absolutely must provide a public park space every few blocks with trees and grass. Otherwise it’s shitsvile for everyone.

  13. I wish they would tear down that shady donut shop mini mall and develop it into a parking structure so the neighborhood would stop complaining about where to put cars. Maybe a Geoff Palmeresque sky bridge that connects to the complex as well? And 24hr security

  14. Has anyone followed the money from CIM to the Council Members office? You can bet it will be supported at the expense to the neighborhood by the council office. Note the developer did commit that no business would be applying for a liquor license. It would be useful to get that in writing.

    • Good god Clarivoyant. Is every building so evil that payola must be made? It astounds me that so many “enlightened” people have no idea that land owners are allowed to add value to their property. Yes, there have been some instances of payola schemes, but replacing a storage facility with a moderate sized residence complex on a large piece of land is hardly so outrageous that there must be corruption.

    • The corruption is for the most part open and legal. Check out who the biggest campaign contributors to the Mayoral election were. Hint Real estate lawyers, and Developers funded both sides. Garcetti was elected by less then 10% of the population…. Who do you think his allegiance is to? That’s why money sound be removed from politics.

  15. I live less than a block from the development on Bellevue and I was notified of the meeting via a flyer last week, so there was some effort made on the developer’s part to notify residents.

  16. Where are all the people coming from to fill the thousands of condo’s and apts being built in DTLA, NELA, Hollywood, Glendale, etc. etc.?

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