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The owners of Barlow Respiratory Hospital will soon find out after they put much of their approximately 25-acre campus on the eastern edge of Echo Park up for sale late last month. Bids on the property are due June 13, according to Richard Byrd with Land Advisors, the broker handling the sale. A sale price was not set for the property, which Barlow has proposed developing into a residential community with as many as 888 units of housing. “Barlow is open to reviewing all proposals from qualified buyers,” Byrd said. “We expect a variety of proposals from prospective buyers.”
Any buyer, however, would be betting that Barlow would be successful in minimizing the long list of significant impacts raised in a recent environmental report. The city would also have to approve a zoning change to allow for a development of more than a million square feet of residential, retail and hospital space. Officials of Barlow, founded more than a century ago, say they need to win city approval of the massive development so they can sell off the property and raise cash to build a new hospital that meets modern seismic standards in a corner of the site.
A large chunk of the property, which straddles Stadium Way, is composed of steep, wooded hillside. Clusters of bungalows and nearly century-old buildings dot the property, which is a city historic landmark.
Barlow tried to sell the property about six years ago when it was looking to move relocate to a new location. “They had several offers for the land, however, Barlow could not find a suitable site to move,” Byrd said. “The cost of building hospitals significantly increased and they could no longer afford to build. The money from the sale of the land at that time would not support the rising building costs plus land costs. So they hired a project manager and developed the current plan.”