Proposed Echo Park development poses “significant” environmental impacts

Early rendering of Barlow development

A plan by Barlow Respiratory Hospital to transform its 25-acre property on the edge of Echo Park into a a massive residential community  would pose significant and unavoidable impacts on the area, according to a preliminary environmental report released this week. The fact that the project poses significant  impacts on everything  from land use to transportation  should not be too surprising given that Barlow’s initial plans call for building up to 888 units of housing, more than 15,000 square feet of commercial space, 1,500 parking spaces and a new hospital. All that new development would require demolishing most of the hospital’s old buildings, which have been designated a city historic landmark, located amid a wooded property next to Elysian Park.

The century old hospital is under pressure to build a new facility that would meet modern seismic building standards. Hospital officials have proposed paying for that new facility by selling off most of the property for development. The hospital has proposed scaling down the size of the development, according to people who have attended recent meetings hosted by Barlow staff and consultants. But the project remains pretty big and would rank as among the single largest developments proposed for the area.

The Eastsider is taking a deeper look into the draft report but here is a summary of the findings:

Based on the analysis contained in this Draft EIR, the proposed project Would result in significant and unavoidable environmental impacts with regard to aesthetics, construction air quality, cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, historical resources, land use, construction noise, and transportation.

The public has until June 11 to comment on the draft report before a final version is completed.



  1. Pure fantasy.

  2. This aggression will not stand. Bye bye Barlow.

  3. There is no doubt this development would be a disaster for the neighborhood.
    Fellow readers, please don’t sit by and assume this project will go away. If it concerns you, please make your voices heard.

  4. If the only way for Barlow to meet earthquake rules is to destroy the land on which it sits, perhaps Barlow should go out of business. Allowing close to 900 housing units, 1500 parking spaces, commercial development, and a new hospital facility on this land would be a travesty. How has this project gotten this far? How can our city leaders allow one of the few remaining park-like spaces near downtown be destroyed by what must be very money-hungry developers?.

  5. Barlow, lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on the community’s part.

  6. Why not raze the hospital and expand the park?

    They could move into a nice modern building not being utilized somewhere else.

    Of course then they wouldn’t have the opportunity to rake in a ton of cash with this profit cow.

  7. Must be some destructive brain virus…. creating greedy zombie developers.

  8. Turn the beautiful historic Buildings into a mental institution.
    Then institutionalise the current “Barlow officials”.

  9. Ughh, I wish all the people stressing out over 4 story buildings on Sunset (OMG!) would focus their energy on fighting this crap.

  10. Oh, no…. what’s going on, people are getting mad, 888 units plus others structure, is true is 25 acres but what they are planning to do is a crime.

  11. I wonder how this project compares in size and scope to what the original plans were for Chavez Ravine?

  12. Elysian Resident

    I find nothing in the draft report that indicates a “lack of planning”. Reading the notice, it seems in order to be in compliance with SB 1953 a new building to conform to the seismic safety act is necessary as the current buildings could never be renovated sufficiently to pass.

    • “lack of planning”… Earthqauke happened in 1994. FEMA funds were lost because the “Board” neglected to do the mandated updates. Panic ensues. We need a new hospital, and we lost our FEMA funding(our fault but, so what)? So, now the community should sacrifice quality of life so we (the hospital) can stay????

      that would be called, LACK OF PLANNING!!!!


    • Unlike other hospitals, Barlow has no real fundraising arm. They have a guild hall that sells knicknacks and an annual golf tournament.

      They have been content to do their own sleepy thing without the hard development work that any hospital must do.

      Now, they face a deadline to rebuild and what have they done? Hire an expensive consultant and play developer by entitling their site with unrealistically high expectations.

      To many, these look like the last days of Barlow.

  13. Do Your Research

    I wonder how many environmental reports contain that exact same phrase you’ve dug so deep to find. When did the Eastsider start paying such close attention to NIMBY locals? I used to come here for rational information about the neighborhood.

  14. The irony of the summary and why the hospital was originally put there is amazing.

    Enjoy the read and you’ll see what I mean.


  15. There are some extremist comments in here. What will happen if they close? They will sell to the highest bidder and it will be the same situation.

    • This land was marketed to other developers before Barlow decided to try it themselves. No one was interested at what they needed to get.

      Their expectations aren’t realistic.

  16. Hope they don’t let Barlow destroy Elysian Park.. That would be a travesty.

  17. My mother spent several months at Barlow after spending 23 days in Cedars respiratory ICU. Although we were never able to completely wean her from the ventilator, the care and attention we received at Barlow was, considering the circumstances, amazing. Although the facility can appear from the outside to be rundown, the care from the professional staff was current and hands on. I was at my mother’s side every day and night of her 2 month stay and I become close with the her doctors and other care providers. It is truly a one of a kind facility. During my breaks, I would take walks throughout the grounds which I found to be calming and uplifting.
    To lose the hospital would be a huge loss for Los Angeles. But we also can’t lose/destroy the unique beauty and serenity that is Elysian Park. There has to be a way to combine the specific needs of the hospital community and the general needs for those who live in the area and who enjoy the beauty of the park.
    Greed, stupidity and short sighted -ness are unfortunately taking first position. I only hope that those must impacted by this proposed invasion of unnecessary addition to our urban density will rally together and fight this with a unified and well defined voice.
    I will certainly make my voice and concerns heard by the powers that be.

  18. A new hospital will create new jobs and provide a new development in the city of Los Angeles. The new development could help improve our lagging economy, especially in this area. Regardless if either Barlow or anyone else has the land, the piece of land will eventually get developed. In Southern California, land is way too expensive to leave nothing on it. Beside, Barlow has owed the land for over 100+ years and developing a new hospital is vital to the community, especially to ventilator weaning patients.

    Traffic is already a mess just being in Los Angeles, not to mention the traffic created by the Dodgers – Everyone CELEBRATED when Dodgers where sold and I’ll bet they will re-develop the stadium.

    Barlow is part of Los Angeles’ history and should continue to be part of it’s future.

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