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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Failed Echo Park townhouse project finds a buyer. But who is it?

The bank that owns the unfinished 36-unit condominium project at Echo Park and Delta avenues – aka Chicken Corner – is under contract to sell the property about two years after construction on the site came to an abrupt halt. “We have selected a buyer,” said Timothy Barden of Land Advisors Organization, the broker which is selling the property on behalf of OneWestBank.  Who is the buyer?  Barden would not say, citing confidentiality agreements. However, other real estate folk who have been following the deal say the buyer is a major national home builder, with one person identifying the purchaser as Texas builder D.R. Horton.  The Eastsider has contacted D.R. Horton officials by phone and email but has not heard back.

Construction on the development, which was known as the Durbin, was halted about two years ago, leaving behind the skeleton of unfinished buildings framed in blue-tinted wood.  Last October, OneWestBank  took control of the project from developer Angeles Group after a prolonged standoff over the fate of the property.

If the sale is completed, it would be the second time that a major home builder, most of which are active in suburban communities, has been involved in the Chicken Corner project.  Florida home builder Lennar was part of the partnership that was going to build the townhomes about five years ago before pulling out of the deal and selling its interest.

Is that blue wood still good? Will the new owner change the project name to The Durbin at Chicken Corner? Stay tuned.



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18 comments

  1. I hope the new owners will take responsibility for the messed up street in front that was left behind when they hooked up to the sewer…

  2. Mixed use? Please?

  3. Been sitting out in the elements for how long?

  4. NO! Not “The Durbin”. Anything but that!
    How about an anagram of “the Durbin” with a reference to Chicken Corner, call it “Turbid Hen”

  5. Really appreciate the update on this (and the digging you’re doing) – that area is such a blight. I know that almost anything they do with it is going to have its supporters and detractors – but i’m of a mind that just about anything will be better than the current situation.

  6. Finally something is happening.

  7. I actually love this post-apocolyptic construction site. D.R. Horton can suck it.

  8. We used to live in that orange apartment building on Delta, across the street from the site. I really hated seeing that blight every day, especially the way they’d let it get completely overgrown. There were seriously trees growing out of the framing at one point.

    We eventually gave up on waiting and now we live Downtown. Glad to hear something is finally happening though. Besides that property, that little corner of Echo Park is so nice.

  9. Considering the history of the development, perhaps they should change the name from “Durbin” to “Burden”.

  10. I second the vote on fixing Echo Park Ave. The developer and bank, not to mention whomever gave the permitting go ahead on this project, should be ashamed at the way this project has proceeded and the failure to maintain the property in an appropriate manner.

  11. I triple that sentiment. Echo Park avenue used to be a smooth drive until they destroyed it. I’ve gotten a flat tire from the massive potholes – but the city’s been covering them up incompetently. Whoever bought this property better be prepared to fix the street. I for one will be very loud about this issue. Thanks for the update Eastsider.

  12. Talk to Coucilman Garcetti about the permitting. His office, as usual, dropped the ball on this project.

  13. @dale: What do you mean by “dropped the ball”? It sucks that this project stalled out, but that was the economy’s fault, not the developers or Garcetti. When the project is done, it will add a bunch of nicely walkable units to a great part of Echo Park. That’s the kind of development we should be happy about!

  14. It would have been awesome of the Heyday Homes people took it over. They build such great homes: http://www.heyday-la.com/

  15. Heyday also destroys homes. Their “Ellenwood” project required the demolition of 7 historic 1920s Eagle Rock cottages and forced eviction of all the residents including families that had lived there for 20 years.

  16. @Moses, the real question is whether the permitting process incorporated an analysis of the financial strength of the developer, and whether there was an adequate financial backstop for completion of the project. I’m not sure if that kind of analysis is written into the mandate of whatever agency had jurisdiction over the main building permit, but if not, it should be. Could the city have required that the developer post a completion bond or a letter of credit to make sure the project was completed? Looks like none of that happened as the bank foreclosed on the property.

    None of the above of course addresses whether the unfinished property is being properly maintained, and whether the street is properly repaired once and for all. Those trenches will require fixing the subsurface condition, plus a complete resurfacing of the street. It can’t happen soon enough. Eric Garcetti’s office, take note.

  17. wood is a natural item. if it gets wet.. it dries. if moisture is allowed to “stay” on the item, it will rot. but in the open… its fine…its called wood

  18. Finally! The new developer should seriously consider a retail level with a good grocery store.

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