Rendering of Sunset Flats at Sunset Boulevard & Rosemont Avenue
Only a block away from the traffic, noise and trash at Sunset and Alvarado, the Echo Park residents northwest of the busy intersection live in a relatively quiet neighborhood filled with a mix of century-old bungalows and apartments. But some residents fear they will be paying the price – in the form of more traffic, noise and a shortage of off-street parking – from new developments on Sunset Boulevard, which includes a 64-unit residential complex and a 150-seat supper club. The developers of the housing project (pictured above) are scheduled to appear tonight before the planning committee of the Echo Park neighborhood council. “It is as if developers are proclaiming war on our normally relatively quiet street” said one resident via email. “The biggest allure of our little pocket of Echo Park is that although it is so close to Sunset, it still has a quaint neighborhood feel.”
In addition, an affiliate of Angelus Temple, which owns the former Lyman Printing building at Alvarado and Elsinore streets, has notified residents it plans to demolish an adjacent bungalow it also owns but has not revealed what plans it has for the property.
The strip of Sunset Boulevard between Alvarado and Rosemont Avenue has in recent years attracted several new businesses, ranging from a wine bar to an American Apparel outlet, that have helped draw more foot traffic and attention to the western edge of Echo Park. In addition to stores and restaurants, the animal rights group PETA, has announced it will relocate some of its corporate offices into a former mattress show room on Sunset. While many residents welcome the new shops and restaurants, others fear all that activity on Sunset will spill over into their quiet side streets.
In the case of the 64-unit housing complex, which would rise on the site of the former Echo Park Community Garden, the developer is proposing that all tenant vehicles would enter and exit the property via Elsinore north of Sunset Boulevard. Meanwhile, the owner of El Camino, which recently began construction inside the former Studio One theater, was able to take advantage of a state enterprise zone to provide a fraction of parking that the city normally requires. The restaurant owner has secured parking in other nearby locations, but nearby residents worry they will have to compete with restaurant and bar patrons for night time parking. In addition, El Camino plans to knock out a portion of the roof , creating an outdoor dining space – and an opportunity for noise to be heard up the hill in nearby homes.
“The fact that they want to have live music acts is a whole other issue,” said one resident. “They say it will be acoustic, but we shall see how fast that changes once they begin.”
* Correction: A previous version of this story said the tenant garage for the 64-unit housing complex would be accessible via Reservoir Street. It’s actually Elsinore Street.