ECHO PARK — Since it was constructed in 1929, the one-story brick building at 1507 Echo Park Avenue has been the home of numerous tenants, ranging from a Christmas decoration store and garment manufacturer to most recently a music recording studio. The building is now vacant and being renovated to serve new generation of tenants, including an Italian restaurant, as the property is renovated into a combination of retail, restaurant and office space.
“We’re seeing more and more pedestrian and small-scale commercial activity along Echo Park Avenue,” said Christian Stayner, an Echo Park resident and co-principal of Stayner Architects, which is designing the project. “We think this project will enhance the vitality and walkability of our neighborhood.”
A thick layer of red paint had been removed from the brick facade and the metal roll down doors will be replaced with windows as part of a plan that calls for using most of the 6,000-square-foot building for office tenants, with the remainder being earmarked for a food retail retailer as well as a sit-down restaurant operated by a neighborhood resident, Stayner said. “More details will be announced soon, but I can say the restaurant will feature an Italian menu.”
The idea of restoring the existing building instead of tearing it down and constructing something new poses several challenges, including how to maintain its historic character while bringing it up to current codes, Stayner said. The owners are currently in the building permit process, and no completion date has been established, he said.
“I had walked past the building a few times a day for years, but couldn’t have known how nice the interior really was,” Stayner said via email. “Now, whenever we open the roll-up doors, people walking on Echo Park Ave stop in their tracks and are curious about the space and its vaulted, bow-truss ceiling. So we’re really excited to bring back something that resembles the former storefront windows and to open the building to the public again.”
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