Echo Park hospital puts property up for sale as 888-home development site

Early rendering of Barlow development

Barlow Respiratory Hospital  has put  its property on the eastern edge of Echo Park up for sale as it plans to build a massive housing and retail project  with more than 800 units of housing. It’s the second time in six years that Barlow has attempted to sell the approximately 20-acre property as a way to raise money to build a new medical facility on a portion of the park-like grounds next to Elysian Park. The previous effort failed to find a buyer, and the second attempt has been launched a week after the release of a preliminary environmental impact report showed there would be significant and unavoidable impacts of  building the development envisioned by Barlow.

Barlow has retained Land Advisors, a property brokerage firm, to find a buyer. No asking price has been revealed. Barlow officials have  has been seeking to have the property rezoned to allow for large residential and commercial development, which would make the property more valuable to prospective buyers.  The  new development would require demolishing most of the hospital’s old cottages and buildings, which have been designated a city historic landmark.

In recent community meetings, Barlow officials have indicated that they are willing to scale down their initial plans,  which called for 888 units of housing, more than 15,000 square feet of commercial space, 1,500 parking spaces and a new hospital.


  1. I know there’s a lot of nimbyism in Echo Park, but THIS seems like the battle worth fighting. Even scaled-down considerably, this project would completely change the whole area. Scary. Especially with whatever will go down around Dodger Stadium as the new owners try to find a way to recoup their vastly excessive purchase price.

    • I totally agree. I think political clout will overshadow our abilities to fight any Chavez Ravine development. So this land may be our only opportunity to diminish large-scale development unless of course the new Dodger owners shell out more cash and buy this property as well. Then we’re screwed…

  2. The current buildings and signage for Barlow are so lovely — if they’re designated city historic landmarks, can they really be demolished?

    I agree with Lisa, this one’s totally worth fighting. Development here would totally diminish Elysian Park and its surroundings. First the sick palms, now this!

  3. What we need to do is email diana.kitching@lacity.org and tell them the significant impact it will have on quality of life, traffic, etc.

  4. Are you kidding me?!! You want to raze that neighborhood to put up what??!!!!! Are you kiddng me?!! This almost makes me want to vomit. I can’t believe anyone would be serious about this. Dodger Stadium has done enough damage over there. How about leaving it alone already?!

  5. Here we go again!! If you let these guys build… so will Frank and his crew.

  6. Sorry, Barlow. I wish you no luck at all.

  7. Such a significant development proposal is nutrageous! The road is a major thoroughfare for many commuters and akin to building commercial and retail along the side of the 5 freeway.

    I am so amped up after working in downtown the serene landscape is what keeps me from strangling my pet fish when I come home.

  8. I’ve always loved the 1950s land-that-time-forgot feeling of this whole area — all just a stone’s throw from downtown.

    From a city planning perspective, I can see how that’s totally impractical. Denser housing in this area (if there was decent transit) would make sense; in its current use, it’s definitely “underutilized.” But so much of the beauty of LA is its nutty historical patchwork quality, and then also, when you look at the crap they want to build, it’s terrifying.

    It reminds me of the La Vina Estates development in Altadena. The (huge) site used to be an old TB sanitarium, like Barlow, tucked onto the hills above west Altadena. Now it is the most horrible McMansion-style gated community, a blight on the entire area.

  9. If they let Barlow follow trough with their plans. Elysian Park will never be the same. So sad.

  10. From Barlow’s own 100 Year History site:

    “The location was a wise choice. It backs up against the city-owned Elysian Park, which provided a protective barrier against development. And, according to local legend, the configuration of the hills in this area is such that clean air always sweeps across the campus.”

    The following are the villains – the ones who want to “do good” at your – not their – expense!


    Board of Directors

    Michael D. Berger

    Hans Einstein, MD

    Travis Gibbs

    • Margaret Crane, Chief Executive Officer BRH
    • David Nelson, MD – Medical Director BRH
    • Susan Rich
    • Alan F. Rothfeld, MD
    • Rosalind Teller
    • John Van Dyke, MD
    • Moez Khorsandi, DO
    • Richard Hurvitz, MD
    • Anthony Koerner, MD

    Barlow Foundation:

    Meet the Board

    The Foundation is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors representing the diversity of the greater Los Angeles business community.

    O F F I C E R S

    Denise Anthony — Chair
    Vice President
    Orange Coast Title Co.

    Ann Van Dormolen — Vice Chair
    Philanthropic Administration Inc.

    Steve Sullivan — Secretary
    Senior Account Manager
    KNX 1070 Newsradio

    Margaret Crane — President
    Barlow Respiratory Hospital

    B O A R D

    Stacy August
    Account Representative
    Metro Services

    Brian D. Bartholomew
    Project Manger
    STV Inc.

    Elizabeth Braman
    Watermark Financial, Inc.
    NextGEN Real Estate Corp.

    Tony Carey
    Television Producer

    Linda Eng
    Senior Vice President
    Travers Realty

    Chet Gilliatt
    Mission Linen Supply

    Nancy Katayama
    Limited Partner
    Tifkat LP

    Sheraly Khwaja
    Traffic & Safety Commissioner
    City of Montebello

    Peter G. Kudrave
    Kudrave Architects

    Debra Langaigne
    Pfizer Pharmaceutical

    Dr. James G. McPherson, III, M.D.

    David R. Nelson, M.D.
    Medical Director
    Barlow Respiratory Hospital

    Karen Palmersheim
    Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP

    Gina Riberi
    CCS Presentations Systems Inc.

    Carl I. Weisburg
    Of Counsel
    Foley & Lardner LLP

    Carl Wesely
    President & CEO

  11. Barlow I hope you get NO takers again……

  12. I too am wondering what designated landmark status means if it does not protect a property from demolition? I know it’s a lot of work to get that status, but in the end, it doesn’t seem to be any kind of special status at all. Between this potential development and the new Dodger ownership, I smell a behemoth corporate playground along the lines of LA Live headed this way. I’m glad I got to enjoy Echo Park as long as I did, but I’m not sticking around to live in the middle of Six Flags Over Elysian Park.

    • @Susan,

      According to the EIR the impact on Historic Resources is “Significant” (as with almost every category. ) Comments on the EIR are due by June 11. This is not a “done deal”. A meeting regarding the EIR findings is scheduled for 5/14 at 7p at the Hospital Library for those interested in asking questions to the Executive Director and her consultants.


  13. Okay, I get it. You are all upset. However, if Barlow doesn’t build, it closes. Then what? The highest bidder will buy it and do what? You think it will remain a “historic” place? Pretty and well maintained? I think not! Try overgrown with transients, homeless, and God knows what hanging around the “Falling apart” “historic” structures. Oh yes, and let us not forget a fire hazzard.

    Times are changing, and unfortunately, no matter whether the hospital gets built or not, that property isn’t going to be the same. In these economic times, it won’t be for the better. Life isn”t fair, is it?

    • Oh Loren,,,,,,,,

      Let me wipe the stardust off your eyes. If the Hospital is forced to close-IF. Then the property, unentitled is worth about $26 Mil max. Not the 80 plus they currently hope to exploit from the property now with the EIR/Zone changes.

      at $26, even the Dodgers could buy it and do a sensitive lower density plan than what is proposed now to save Barlows “ass”… Had they started a much needed capitol fundraising campaign 15 years ago, before they let the FEMA funds they earned languish and disappear, things might be different.

      This is the bed they made, and here they must lay…..


  14. Loren,

    I agree with you. It won’t be the same and a new state of the art hospital with a developed community around it is a much better option than forcing the hospital to close and letting the property go to deteriorate like the buidings on it now.

  15. Elysian Resident

    Transients and homeless already exist on the hills surrounding the hospital where there are no historic buildings, so how can a community of new homes and businesses not be a better option?

  16. I say jam the 800 dwelling units in there to give us one more failed example of “smart growth” urban planning policies.

    The funny thing, is that high density development is greenwashing us with false promises of environmentally friendly living; when in actuality, it’s the exact opposite. We have less unpaved watershed. We have more cars, more congestion, and worse pollution.

    Jam those babies in there.

  17. Denise Anthony

    Just for your information:
    I resigned from the Barlow Foundation Board and as the Chair.

  18. Just this weekend a woman came to my door asking me to sign a petition FOR the condos. I listened politely to her until she began to literally diss my neighborhood, saying that the new condos would beautify our deteriorating neighborhood, oh but she was careful to note that our house was fine and kept up. I promptly slammed the door in her face. She came back again on Sunday and I reminded her that I already noted my position. I have lodged a formal complaint to Barlow about the attitude of their volunteers.

    For the record she also mentioned that the condos would be for affordable housing, when I inquired further about the developers and the cost of the “affordable housing” she could not give me further information.

  19. This is Los Angeles!!! you are all acting as if this is a nice place to live??? please everyone get a real job and leave Barlow alone…

  20. Amen, Julie.
    Edina, no “stardust” in my eyes.
    It is apparent you do not fully understand what is at stake here. No matter, though. You are certainly entitled to your feelings on the ” project.” Please go to the meeting on the 14th with an open mind and all your concerns. The alternative to not building is not pretty. It would be wonderful to keep the land as is, but …… Know anyone willing to “donate” a few million? Also, if the dodgers were to purchase the land (unentitled) do you really think they or anyone else isn’t going to build something there? And guess what? It won’t matter what any of us think because they have more pull with the city than any of us.

    • Loren,

      the point is, that the land, unentitled will require less “monetizing”. Therefore the 888 condos, 1 million SF of Floor area, and the 1600 parking spaces would not be needed to “turn a profit”.

      As it is currently zoned you can adaptively reuse the property, build single family dwellings, or even request sensible, “less than significant” zone changes. Currently, per the EIR, the zone changes requested are “Significant” with unavoidable impacts. NO mitigation will offset the damage done SHOULD such a zone change be considered.

      Heck, Kaiser could come in, build a boutique hospital on the proposed 3.5 acre pad, and adaptively reuse the rest of the property……All things Barlow Foundation COULD have done over the last 16 years…..

      So again, the Echo-ELysian community should bear the brunt of Barlows failure to perform mandated Seismic upgrades because why???



  21. The hospital CAN’T be “seismically” upgraded. It has to be totally rebuilt. Maybe these questions can be answered at the community meeting. Should be enlightening for all of us.

    Til then,

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