Echo Park council grants support to 64-unit housing project

Architect Jay Vanos (pictured above) and his consultants have become a familiar sight at Echo Park neighborhood council meetings, showing up about eight times during the past 2-1/2 years as he worked to win support for a large housing and commercial project on Sunset Boulevard. On Tuesday night,Vanos finally got what he wanted, the blessing of the council to build 64 units above commercial spaces on a hillside property near Sunset Boulevard near Mohawk Street. The vote by the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council came despite ongoing complaints from nearby residents about the size and style of the project and the impact on parking and traffic.  “It would be a monstrosity,” said one resident.

If some Echo Park residents thought the 64-unit project was too big, Vanos said it could have been even bigger.  The developer could build 127 units on the property with the necessary approvals. In fact, Vanos said he presented another proposal that would not require special city approvals to the office of Councilman Eric Garcetti. He said he was advised by the council office not to show those plans in part because they would be “provocative.”   “We don’t want that … we want to get your support for this one,” said Vanos before the neighborhood council voted 8-to4 in favor of the project (two members abstained).

Vanos said he had worked to deal with many of the concerns, noting that the tallest parts of the two buildings would be stepped back from the street. In addition, the project would include 10 units for very-low income residents, which permits the project to take advantage of certain “density bonuses” and incentives that allows developers to build bigger projects if they include affordable housing. Still,  the 10 new units reserved for low-income residents would fall short of the 11 units of housing that would be demolished to make way for the development, a sore point with some residents. In addition, the only parking garage entrance  for residents who would live in the complex would be located at the top of the hillside lot on Elsinore Street, which would funnel more traffic into the residential neighborhood.

The vote by the neighborhood council, which is only an advisory body, is expected to be taken under consideration by city agencies reviewing the development. Vanos must still seek city approval to build what the city considers as a five-story high project, which is one story higher than allowed even when taking into account density bonuses and incentives.


  1. Any “blessing” from the Greater Echo Park Neighborhood Council should be considered a joke.

  2. nice job, neighborhood council. not really.

  3. Nice job, Neighborhood council. It is definitely looks better then what is there now. I hope they lease to some cafe or a nice bakery we need it. The picture in the background doesn’t look that big.

  4. What are they tearing down? Everything on Elsinore east of Mohawk? That is more of an issue in my opinion…

  5. The Council got paid!

  6. Good for the Neighborhood council on approving this project. I am looking to live in a newer place, then my old money pit that I live in and I don’t want to move out of Echo Park area for that. There is nothing wrong with having a new building to live in. Parking will not be an issue because each unit will have there own parking not like now I have to fight to find a parking space in the street every day I come home.

  7. are they going to be condo’s or apartments?

  8. not a lot of respect for the neighborhood council, although I’m guessing they don’t really care because that’s in someone else’s area of Echo Park. i’m assuming it will be a lot like the dump at Hollywood and Western or the Orsini(s). bunch of vacancies in an ugly orangey building with a Jamba Juice, a Baja Fresh and a few empty storefronts underneath. ought to really lend an air of class to the neighborhood.

  9. Do you know if they will be building on top of the community garden that is on that hill above the store fronts?

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