Bank takes over failed Echo Park townhouse project

The developer that abruptly stopped construction on a 36-unit condominium project at Echo Park and Delta avenues last year has apparently lost ownership of the property to the bank.  OneWest Bank took control of The Durbin condos from the Angeles Group in early October, according to people familiar with the deal.  The online real estate website Trulia shows that the four parcels sold for $1.689 million each on October 7 when they became bank-owned real estate. Mott Smith, a Mount Washington-based developer whose partnership sold the Echo Park property to Angeles Group in late 2006, said it looks like the bank might sit on the unfinished development until early next year before deciding what to do. “We have been watching the property, and our broker has told us that OneWest received multiple offers on it. They did not sell it.”

Residents and neighborhood groups earlier this year complained that the stalled development had become an eyesore filled with weeds and the skeletons of partially built homes framed in blue-tinted wood. Adam O’Neill of the Angeles Group last year blamed the shut down on the failure and takeover of its construction lender, IndyMac, and other issues. The new lender, OneWest, had filed a notice of default several months ago but did not move to take control of the Durbin, leaving the project in limbo.

The Eastsider has contacted the Angeles Group for comment.


  1. That’s not the only issue with that lot Eastsider. The residents were bamboozled. That design (above) is not the design that residents approved. We personally met with the original designers of the townhomes and they were MUCH smaller, MUCH cuter, and there were LESS of them. This is karma to the developers who got the residents blessing and then changed the layout and designs without notifying us.

  2. Im glad the east sider is keeping track of this.

    I wake up every morning and look out to see this unbuilt eyesore. I wish they would just build it or tear it down already.

  3. Is this a sentence:

    “OneWest Bank took control of the Durbin from the Angeles Group after the Echo Park property in early October, according to people familiar with the deal.”

    And what is the “Durbin?”

    And did they “sell” on Oct. 7, or were they forfeited in foreclosure and that was the value of the loan?

  4. Perhaps it’s time for the City to start calculating the construction bonds higher on these projects – particularly in hillside areas so these speculative projects either get completed or not approved in the first place.

    The Blue Wood Frame Condos of Echo Park, The Eagle Rock Wall, The Menlo Property Wall…and countless smaller projects that get started and sit unfinished for years, even decades.

  5. @ Tom. Sorry about that. I hope I made that sentence a bit more understandable. I don’t know what a “Durbin” is but that was the name given the development. I don’t know if that was the value of the loan.

  6. My dream is to see those lots turned into a community garden.

  7. I am with Kate, I would like to see a Community Garden.

  8. Because the property is so large and valuable, it would have to be something more than a community garden. Some kind of nonprofit center that would include a community garden and a community performance space would be ideal. There could even be a few aspects of it that would generate revenue. Check out the Thoreau Centers for Sustainability.http://www.thoreau.org/index.html. There are a lot of community orgs and nonprofits in the neighborhood that don’t connect with one another. Imagine how the entire community of Echo Park would benefit if they did.

  9. No non-profit center thank you. If you lived across the street, I don’t think you’d want a busy, loud center. A garden, a park, or a cute little restaurant with parking.

  10. @Frank, the property was taken back by the bank via a foreclosure sale in early October. the amount of $1.6M was the credit bid that the bank valued the property at, however the balance of the note was presumably much more. Also, the property will be able to sell for much more, as-is, once the bank is willing to put it on the market.

    @Diane, I understand how you feel about this stuff, but you only see things from the laymen’s side…actually the renter’s side in your case…the deals aren’t as cut and dried as u make them sound. There is a lot involved behind the scenes to get these completed. No one wants eye sores around, we all love this community.

  11. Enough! The city should give the bank 90 days to sell the property or raze the current mess and put down green ground cover with a non industrial protective fence. This has been a mess too long.
    If the property owner does not comply then condem and move on with a community project or sale to a responsible party. Do you think this would pass in Los Feliz or Brentwood?

  12. Want to see what happens to community gardens in Echo Park? They become space for greedy developers to swoop in and build really large, tall, modern buildings like they are trying to do at 2223 Sunset Blvd. Will you help protest the Sunset Flats Echo Park developments beyond a few comments on this blog? Would love to see supporters at this meeting with City Hall or please write letters to help stop a new 62 unit, 5 story building from being built at the entrance into Echo Park on Sunset Blvd before it is too late. SEE: http://echoparklife.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/echo-park-protest-city-hall/

  13. @Help Echo Park

    Still as unrealistic as ever, I see. You’re like the tea party of Echo Park development.

  14. Ehhhh no vegi garden please.

    I rather have a nice patch of grass and a basketball hoop !

    but that is just my opinion.

  15. Why the ridiculous concerte wall in the back?

    Even if this project gets completed, take down that wall, please.

  16. Would make a great plaza/park.

  17. Personally, I would like to see this whole area converted into a sex-field.

  18. The owners can build great stacks of housing there by right – its only when the owners want more density than they are permitted that they need to consider the communities wishes at all.

    I think whats wanted there one way or another is more commercial space – I hope when the next developer comes in that the community will try to push them towards mixed use. I’d like to see commercial activity all up and down the avenue – reducing the distance between the current islands at chango, deliliah, Echo Park cycles, and Fix.

    And I hate to say it, but building housing in EP on the avenue is desireable – more people means more custom for the shops and all and makes EP more self sufficient and liveable.

    and while I am saying one unpopular thing after another I also think that the neighborhood should by degrees me more amenable to lower levels of parking in new projects – there are more car-free folks around these days and its to be encouraged…

  19. It’s a shame that this useless project closed a long time convalescent home at this location. I’m sure their removal from the property hastened the demise of many innocent senior citizens. Now this abandoned project in nothing but an eyesore and a garbage dumping ground…& less than a block from my home of almost 9 years…a disgrace & an embarrassment…

  20. The convalescent home? Oh, you mean the abandoned property filled with homeless people. Yeah, that was awesome.

  21. And I want pony rides and ice cream and…

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