Proposed 48-unit Cypress Park apartment complex would rise next to Gold Line station

Rendering of apartment complex next to Heritage Square/Arroyo Gold Line Station/Palm Communities

Map of Cypress Park affordable  housing complex on Marmion WayAn empty lot next to the Heritage Square/Arroyo Gold Line Station in Cypress Park would be turned into a 48 apartments for veterans and their families under a project proposed by an affordable housing developer. Palm Communities has been been meeting with small groups of residents as it prepares to seek approvals to build the complex on a triangular parcel at Marmion Way and French Street that it has agreed to purchase. A rendering shows a building rising three and four stories between  the Gold Line tracks on the east and a row of mostly one and two story homes on Marmion Way on the west.

The Eastsider has contacted Palm Communities for details on the project and what if any special city approvals it will require. But information in a recent Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council newsletter said the project, which would have leasing preferences for veterans, is planned to open  in May 2015.  The council’s Sycamore Grove neighborhood issues committee is scheduled to take up the project at its April 18 meeting.

Adam-Bray Ali, who attended one of the meetings with Palm Communities, said the height and scale of the project concerns him.

“The overall size of the building dwarfs the rest of the neighborhood in terms of height,” said Ali in an email. “It is a large building and the overall strategy is to put a number of people that can be helped by affordable housing but it will change the neighborhood feel away from families and put density in with an overall feel that is not in the same scale as nearby properties.”


  1. This building is neither tall nor too dense. It’s the houses across the street that are blights. Tear them down.

    • Except for one they are EXCELLENT victorian/ craftsman/ cal bungalows.
      All they need is restoring and the iron fences replaced.

  2. Looks very nice but bigger than 48 units. We need more affordable housing and close to transportation systems.

  3. Wow, this rendering doesn’t make my eyeballs bleed! Build it!

  4. What is the lot zoned? Is the developer asking for a whole bunch more units then allowed by the zone? This is exactly what the church over on Avenue 50 proposed a few weeks ago. The lot was zoned for 13 units max, and they asked for variances for 62 units. Needless to say, the infrastructure of Northeast LA cannot support such intense density, even at a rail station. A vet preference and mixed housing is desirable, but why does the City Council office entertain only affordable units? The Highland Park area is in great demand right now. New businesses are energizing Figueroa Street. Let’s build this at the right size, and with a mix of housing units.

  5. But will they realy make it for Veterans? ? Or chang it? To mix use .for recoving people et ..like mental , recoving drug users and familys with children. .??? Will there be a for sure.written in stone for Veterans & there familys..!!?

    • According to zimas.lacity.org for 3526 Marmion Way, the property is zoned for manufacturing and commercial. The zoning information includes a health advisory due to its proximity to the Parkway. “Review of recent air pollution studies shows a strong link between the chronic exposure of populations to vehicle exhaust and particulate matter from roads and freeways and elevated risk of adverse health impacts, particularly in sensitive populations such as young children and older adults.”

  6. I share Rita Govea’s concern about changing the commitment from veterans to some other group–or none.
    I also wonder if the builders are thinking of asking for less required parking since it will be right by the Gold Line and #83 bus as well as the bus on Fig…
    I would be concerned that the parking lot for the Gold Line station would become a parking lot for tenants of the building and then become a pay lot to deter that use.
    I looked at the website and all the places shown there are much more upscale with more amenities…or perhaps their website only shows the upscale ones.

    How prepared would the two closest schools be to handle an influx of new students–has that been discussed at all?

    • The plans include parking for 50 cars in an underground lot. One per unit.
      Some of the units are designated as ‘family’ units and when I asked about the expectations for car ownership the answer was that “veterans typically don’t own more than one car per family.” Of the vets I rent to, they seem to have the same number of cars as most other tenants.

  7. My general concerns are really more that I prefer there be market rate condos or apartments built because the way the current proposal works is that 24 units will be deeded for affordable housing to people paying lower than market rent. Another 24 units will be deeded for affordable housing for veterans. 1 unit is designated as a managers unit. These restrictions will be in place for 55 years at which time, the current owners can choose to charge market rents. If the owners can only charge a fraction of market rents, how can we be assured the building will be maintained to a high standard. Since the tenants are paying well under market, they have limited reasons to force a change and in 20-30 years, this building will not be as attractive as it looks right now. Drive by any building with similar covenants (there are several in the Boyle Heights area built with CRA money) and you’ll see that maintenance is not a strong point.

    This building will be the largest structure in the area and a dominant part of the experience of using our train station.

    The estimated cost for this development is $20,000,000 which works out to about $400,000 per unit. How many 1 bedroom condos in the area are selling for anywhere near that level? Since they are using public funds from various sources it means that you and I are paying for a large portion of this building.

    Here is some more details from the developer themselves about height and zoning:

    The current design has the following heights: The height of the tower element is the tallest structure at 54′. The floor-to-floor is 10′, so the front building is 30′ to the roofline. The back building is 40′ to the roofline. The additional height is what gives the detail to the building with the pitched roof.
    The zoning is CM which allows for R3 uses by right. A zone change is not required.

  8. N.E.L.A. is appealing as is. The almost small-town sense of community cultivated by longtime residents is being directly compromised by these multi-unit developments that don’t encourage families establishing roots in the neighborhood but rather attract individuals simply interested passing through for the “hip” urban experience. It won’t be long before these once obscure but distinct neighborhoods are simply absorbed into the hectic sprawl that is the rest of L.A.

    • Your fear of change is corrupting your sense of reality.

      • Beanteam

        Realistically our infrastructure is falling apart and you think change is the good. its great when eveything is working fine, but when our city doesnt put its priorities into perspective then none of this new stuff is going to work or last.

        • Yes our infrastructure IS falling apart. So does that mean that private investment should be halted? No. Exactly opposite.

          If you’d like to discuss why we have no money left over for city and state infrastructure, lets talk about the benefits the the city and state public sector unions receive by buying the politician’s office seats.

  9. I live around the corner from here and looking forward to life being brought into this dead space. Although I think the design could be altered to meet the local architecture and maybe scaled down a bit. Hopefully having habitants in this neighborhood pocket will clean up the area, encourage the property owners on Marmion Way to clean up their properties and make leaving the train station at night not so scary.

    • Totally agree Moreno! It’s tough to push for improvements because a lot of the neighbors simply don’t have the capital to improve their properties. About 2 years ago I worked on updating a house on Arroyo Seco and we had some challenges with the kids living in the apartment building that liked to tag everywhere but the neighborhood is really a gem with small homes that can be greatly improved. This development is simply to put in a large apartment complex and they promise a community room on the ground floor. At the information meeting I suggested finding a way to put a small store in the ground floor to sell fruits, snacks, train tickets, milk, etc.

  10. If its for our veterans, build it now.

    • This is the type of reaction that most people have but if you slow down for a moment and ask what is right for the veterans that will live there and the community around them it makes you question a bit more how the developers are using housing money for veterans and what style of housing we should try to provide for people that need subsidized housing.

  11. Is this proposed housing development really in Cypress Park or Highland Park?

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