Will retailers follow the Gold Line to Boyle Heights’ Mariachi Plaza? *

Plaza Mariachi retail in upper right corner of rendering/LoopNet

The extension of the Metro Gold Line through Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles nearly two years ago has many anticipating – as well as fearing – new development near the stations.  The weak economy has forced many to reduce expectations but brokers and developers continue to promote and pitch proposed projects, including two retail developments near the Mariachi Plaza station at First Street and Boyle Avenue.  The more ambitious of the two projects, Plaza Mariachi, depicted above, is a 22,000-square-foot retail center planned for an empty lot at Pennsylvania Avenue and Bailey Street north of the train entrance and from White Memorial Hospital.

Boyle Hotel/LoopNet

Plaza Mariachi, which would rise on land being leased by the transit agency, is far smaller than what was proposed for the same location a few years ago.  The Eastsider has contacted broker CB Richard Ellis, which is in charge for leasing, for more details but has not heard back. The most recent marketing materials for Plaza Mariachi say it would be completed in 2012 but there’s no sign of any construction work.

Meanwhile,  on the western edge of Mariachi Plaza, the renovation of the red brick Boyle Hotel will include not only create more housing in Boyle Heights but also add about 2,100-square-feet of retail space on the ground floor. Based on the renderings, the storefronts, which could include a restaurant, would overlook the mariachis-for-hire across the street.  East Los Angeles Community Corp., the non profit working on the Boyle Hotel, did not return calls seeking more details about the project.  The agency expects the renovation to be completed in September 2012.

* Update: Several businesses, from banks and bakeries to coffee shops and a cultural center, have expressed interest in leasing the Boyle Hotel storefronts, said asset manager Jackie Monterrosas. No leases have been signed yet. Before any leases are signed, a panel of residents will review and have a say in selecting the final tenants, she said.

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  1. It’ll be really cool to see the Boyle Hotel restored… and those plaza rendering looks better than 90% of what passes for “transit oriented development” in this city. I just hope these projects don’t end up having to add surface lots and fugly garage structures to satisfy LA’s asinine parking requirements.

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