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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A reminder of Beverly Boulevard’s mid-century years is up for sale

Photo courtesy Marcus & Millichap

Beverly Boulevard, like many of the busy streets that radiate west of downtown, is dotted with small one and two-story mid-century office and professional buildings.  Here, on the southern fringe of Echo Park and what is now Historic Filipinotown and Westlake, groups like the Building Contractors Association and small firms, such as the Len Wolf ad agency, set up shop close to downtown in structures boasting all the modern amenities – air conditioning as well as rooftop sundecks – and convenient parking lots right outside the front or back door. While crime and decay chased away many of professional groups and firms, many of those same  buildings remain and have caught the attention of those attracted to their mid-century style and central location.

One of the developments of this era, a pair of structures constructed in 1954  at 1670 Beverly Blvd.  at Union Avenue was empty when a developer called Creative Environments of Hollywood purchased the property in 2001.  The developer converted the building – once home to the Los Angeles County Tuberculosis and Health Association (the Easter Seal people) – into a live-work compound, with four offices and 10 apartments renting for more than $2,000 a month. Now, after a decade of ownership, Creative Environments has put the property up for sale at $2.75 million.



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4 comments

  1. Wongtime Flip / Wilson

    Easy: Maybe this dude bailed because it sucks shit over there? I really gave that part of town the ole college try, PhD even, as I wanted to outfox the creeping hipsterism and overpriced crappy apartment scene and just… live. Good riddance. Despite a decade of genuine optimism and years of shopping/existing hyperlocally, my positive effect in the face of all the negative forces about was nil. Don’t worry, antigents, the gritty streets of my old `hood still aren’t in any danger of developing into anything better, nor will they ever prove edifying or stimulating to bohos, or even reach vaguely cool status (even if somebody seems to be trying to make it so just by shouting). Nope, it’s effed up to the core even as it’s one of the most convenient places to live. Why? At its core the place is swarming with gangsters and illegals, lots of criminal mindedness and mos definitely crime, all the way from petty- to murders. God bless them but I don’t know what all the teeny little Filipina ladies are still doing walking these mean streets. They should head for, like, Covina soon because S and W of EP it’s not getting better — but much worse.

  2. As a tangent readers might be interested in, the building next door to this one, at 1660 Beverly Blvd., for many years was the home of the company that put out the Parkside Journal for Echo Park and parts of Silver Lake, the Griffith Park News for Elysian Valley and Atwater, and the Northwest Leader for southern parts of Silver Lake, among various other neighborhood newspapers, including the Hollywood Independent. That building in now a Post Office facility.

  3. Beverly Union Lofts is just south of prime Echo Park. It is surrounded by Silver Lake to the west, Downtown to the east, and Westlake to the south. Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown LA are still growing, and Downtown’s re-development pushed west up to Union Ave until the market crashed a few years ago. I have lived at 7th and Union for over 5 years, and I have never had any problems with crime. Within the last few years there have been many positive changes in the neighborhood of Westlake, and north of Westlake is very tame.

  4. @Wongtime Flip / Wilson. If you were trying to “outfox the creeping hipsterism” as you mention, I’m not sure what you were expecting. The actual truth as to why this property is up for sale is not because “it sucks over there” as you have pointed out. The unfortunate truth is that this company recognized a great potential but over invested at the height of the real estate market and needs to unload some of its investments. Beverly Blvd is the cut off between Echo Park and Westlake. This property sits on the Southern side which is the Westlake side of Beverly and is on the cusp of, what suburbanites would call questionable streets in the heart of Westlake. However, not knowing exactly where you lived and as in all things…”timing” is everything. Unfortunately, you may have been off on “your” timing living in this area. There are some great pockets of Westlake unknown to most. All neighborhoods evolve and change. The issue for you is that it did not change to suit your time living in the neighborhood. As David Bramante points out, these lofts sit on prime location and are wedged in the middle of some prime neighborhoods (EP, Silver Lake, K town, Downtown) There are spots of redevelopment popping up around it and cool venues like Bootleg Theater, Village Kitchen, 1642 bar, the Echo Park pool etc. are just down the street and walkable from this location. Beverly Blvd is a great artery into Downtown from Ktown/Midtown and holds some great buildings as the article mentions.
    As gas prices and real estate rise, our need to create smaller self sufficient neighborhoods with their own local markets, restaurants, and entertainment will become greater. This area that has been so undesirable for you despite your feeble attempt to change it will ultimately work for someone else with better “timing” as the momentum of development of the surrounding areas will simply squeeze into one another. All the best to you Dr. and good luck in West Covina!

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