Echo Park empty lots may not be empty for long


ECHO PARK — New homes and restaurants are planned for a trio of empty lots on Alvarado Street and Glendale Boulevard.  These projects have been in the works for a while but it looks like their backers are renewing efforts to get them built. Here’s the rundown:

  • A public hearing is set for Sept. 7 on a proposed one-story building with up to six separate restaurant spaces on the parking lot at the northwest corner of Alvarado and Scott Avenue (next to an Auto Zone). It’s not clear if the developer is going after indie restaurants or big chains (Quiznos, Coldstone Creamery, Panda Express, etc).
  • A developer has asked the city for permission to carve up vacant properties at 1826 Glendale near Clifford Street to accommodate 18 townhomes under the city’s small-lot ordinance, which has been responsible for most of the new development in Echo Park. Permits for this project, which has been in the works for several years, show that the homes would be three stories high and include two-car garages and roof decks.
  • At least three concepts for a small retail and restaurant center have been presented in recent years to fill the triangular lot at Glendale and Montana Street across from a KFC. Now a fourth idea has surfaced: a 4,500-square-foot building with subterranean parking and a rooftop deck is being shopped around on LoopNet. The concept is similar to the third proposal but features a different architectural style. Will the fourth time be the the charm?

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. So let me get this straight about he one at Glendale and Montana. They don’t even have approval for a project yet, but they already have it listed for rent?!

    And they’re PROMOTING it to potential renters as “additional street parking available,” as if the street is their’s to sell!

    And of course, they plan to build right to the sidewalk – but they want outdoor seating to in their plan show they intent to just claim the pubic sidewalk as their’s to obstruction with tables and chairs – so much for the pedestrians. They should have a setback on that property, then they can use their land for outdoor seating, if they want outdoor seating. Taking hold of public sidewalks for private business and crowding out pedestrians in not acceptable.

    I note, this is the property that former Councilman Eric Garcetti bent over backward to try to get them to build too much, by closing off the street behind it for the property owners to use for parking so they cold build bigger over the entire lot instead of using any of it for parking.

    • LOL, crowds of pedestrians at Glendale and Montana… Have you ever walked around this neighborhood? Trust me, it won’t be a problem.

      • will the developer have to buy out the bums living on the sidewalk around there?

      • You’re living in the past, not the future, corner soul. Glendale is being developed for pedestrians as we write. Its only the front end now, it is not where it will finish. A lot more housing along there too.

        Nonetheless, they have no right to claim the sidewalk. They should provide the setback needed so they use their own property, like some other restaurants in the area have done.

        • Nah, I’m living in 2016 and al fresco dining is quite common. There’s a permitting process through the city and everything (restaurants have to pay a fee, make sure there’s room for pedestrians and folks with disabilities to pass, etc. etc.)

          Anyway, you really think this block is becoming pedestrian friendly? Now I know you’ve never walked here. It’s a humiliating experience, to put it mildly. 8 lanes of rushing metal and exhaust, lined with fast food drive-thrus, gas stations and blight. A couple dozen condos and a new restaurant will not magically transform it into Champs Elysee.

          My guess for that parcel? 5 more years as an empty dirt lot, and eventually a Starbucks drive-thru opens, making traffic and parking much worse than the dreaded “sidewalk cafe… scourge of Los Angeles”

          • Right next to the KFC over there is Semi-Tropic, arguably one of the best cafe/bars in Echo Park. So it’s not all bad.

          • @Monty Looks cool, I’ll have to check it out. But I imagine they’re doing well despite the city’s efforts, not because of them. Buildings like this (small lot; no parking; no setback) are a testament to the value of the traditional development style.

            There’s a limited amount of property in Central LA where an interesting small biz can 1) legally open with minimal hassle from city hall; 2) afford the rent being charged due to mismatch in supply/demand; and 3) prosper on a street where the city has virtually destroyed any hope of foot traffic (by engineering it as a surface highway for commuters.)

            If @J.W. had his way, we’d never build anything like this in Los Angeles again… similar buildings that predate modern zoning would be exempt from the “grandfathered” status that allows them to open up shop in short order. Instead they’d have to magically find 3x as much land for a surface lot and/or throw tens of millions into parking structures, just to satisfy modern parking codes.

            Is it any wonder most new developments are filled with big chains and formula retail?

        • Hmm.. where else did development utilize wasted public streets to the public’s benefit??

          Sunset Triangle, 3rd street Promenade, Abbot Kinney, Traction plaza, ya know some of the most attractive locations in the city.

          As it is, the segment of Lake Shore has very very little traffic. I’m looking at through my bedroom window right now.

    • HipsterLivesMatter

      The only “people” that use the sidewalks around that lot are homeless filth shooting up in the streets. If this development gets passed it’ll be a godsend to this blighted stretch of road.

      • It would be more of a godsend is developed properly, and for the point at hand, that means a setback to provide for outdoor dining, rather than steal pubic property.

        • HipsterLivesMatter

          Either way, I don’t care. The sidewalks there are unusable currently because of homeless encampments, I’d much rather have a few tables with happy rich kids drinking then worrying about stepping on needles.

  2. Slightly off topic, but would love an update about Modo Yoga on Glendale. They seemed set to open and then nothing for, what, 18 mos or so?

  3. cool adding more congestion to an already overly clogged part of echo park. good going garcettism.

    • obviously you don’t live here… it’s congested for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours after work, it serves only people coming “from elsewhere to somewhere” for a tiny of fraction of the day, The rest of the day and most weekends, it’s a pedestrian deadzone, with cars zooming through MY neighborhood using glendale like a damn highway.

  4. This stretch of EP (1300 block to freeway entrance) is already well on its way to being a prime location. Aside from the above mentioned projects, an upscale design studio just opened next to the Blue Collar Working Dog building across from the glen&mon triangle property – all those shops are going to turn into something “hip”. And I personally know about multiple new developments, not mentioned above, on both sides of the 1400 block that are going to bring a lot of life to this area.

    I for one am excited about everything thats happening as Glendale is so visible – like the traffic or not – and represents EP to a lot of passers through, as its something they see everyday.

    The city has broken up encampments twice in 2 months, so they are obviously being proactive about revitalizing & cleaning the area. These things just take time. Besides, new development in Downtown is what has push homeless to Echo Park. New developmemt in EP will push them elsewhere.

    The current rough edges are the growing pains of a once residential neighborhood, becoming highly trafficed, and now becoming a commercial extention of one of the hotest stretches of Sunset.

    Im personally indifferent about the sidewalk. Ive used it when going to the afformentioned Semi-Tropic, which is wonderful btw, but i wouldnt mind it being another restaurant/bar option along the path.

    Anybody that doesnt see that that area is going to blossom quick doesnt understand real estate. Its sandwiched between EP Lake, Sunset Blvd & Silverlake. A few hours of traffice, like everywhere else in LA, does not a wasteland make.

    Wait and see.

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