New housing to rise on historic Edendale silent movie studio property

Rendering of Trumark Homes project on the border of Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Project site at Glendale Boulevard and Clifford Street

Construction is scheduled to begin soon on the first of 70 homes on the border of Echo Park and Silver Lake that will rise on the former site of Los Angeles’  first permanent movie studio. In one of the largest residential developments to be built in the area in about 30 years, Trumark Homes is scheduled to begin work within 30 to 60 days on the first batch of homes on Glendale Boulevard and Clifford Street near the southern tip of the 2 Freeway, said company marketing and sales chief Mark Higgins.

The first units and models of the as yet unnamed development are expected to be completed by the beginning of 2014,  with the three-story homes expected to be priced in the high $500,000 to mid $600,000 range.

“There is a shortage of housing for people in the Silver Lake area,” said Higgins, whose company focuses on urban development. “Hopefully, we will be building more nearby.”

The approximately three-acre Trumark site, which straddles both sides of Clifford Street, sold  for approximately $12 million late last year, according to Property Shark.  The property north of Clifford, which is now a vacant lot, once served as the home of the Selig Polyscope Studio, which opened in 1909 as Los Angeles’ first permanent movie making facility. Selig Polyscope was soon joined by a string of other silent film studios that operated along what is now Glendale Boulevard in an area then known as Edendale.

Higgins said  his company was not aware of the property’s Silent Film-era connection but he said his firm would be open to somehow honoring the Edendale film pioneer. The company would like “to pay homage to what was originally on the site,” he said.

While the firm is bullish on the neighborhood real estate market, the site it has purchased sits at the southern terminus of the busy 2 Freeway.  In order to address concerns about noise raised by the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and others, Higgins said the homes, which will be built under the city’s small-lot ordinance, will be built to shield residents from the noise.

Trumark plans on beginning work on the parcel south of Clifford Street before shifting construction to the northern parcel. The  project is perhaps the largest single-family home development in the area since nearly 100 homes were constructed in the early 1980s in Hathaway Hill Estates,  the Silver Lake project located  west of the Trumark site.  Unlike that earlier project, however,  Trumark’s development will not be gated and the firm plans to pursue a more modern and urban design compared to the suburban-style Hathaway Hill homes.

Some of the Trumark units will have roof-top decks, and the ceilings on second-floor living areas will be 10-feet high.  The two and three-bedroom homes will range in size from 1,200 to 1,500-square feet.

“We spent a lot of time and money to do a killer job on the architecture,” Higgins said.


  1. Would have been great if they noticed the shortage of boutique hotels or any hotel for that matter. Would have made a killing.

  2. Oh, now, this should cause all kinds of traffic jams, especially during morning rush hour.

    • Even if all 70 units had two cars leave at the exact same moment right as you were driving through here on your way to Bingo at the Recreation Center you’d have an additional 140 cars on the road, and stil you wouldn’t notice a difference. Now shut up. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. This city isn’t just about you getting from Point A to Point B you old biddy.

  3. Silver Lake resident

    I’m really tired of all this over development. Sometimes a lack of housing is a GOOD THING for a neighborhood. (And I’m not some old-timer NIMBY. I’m in my late 20s and have lived here for ~7 years.)

    The massive, overpriced apartments and condos that seem to be the style du jour for greedy developers are destroying the look and feel of Silver Lake and Echo Park. Not everything new is necessarily good! Not every open space needs to be filled! Not every craftsman house needs to be demolished in favor of 50 apartment units with granite countertops, carpet and white walls.

    Highland Park is starting to look more an more appealing.

    • Don’t let your 1950’s craftsman door hit you in the ass.

      • Hey genius, the Craftsman era was over by the end of the 1930’s. There’s no such think as a “1950′s craftsman door”. If you’re gonna sling insults, get your terms right!

  4. This is primo tagging real estate. Developers, make sure to use easily repaintable surfaces so you can cover up all of the EXP and CYS that will be written nightly on opposing sides of the structures.

    • We need developers to buy up the properties where the the EXP and CYS boys live, and build cool homes like these on the sites. That would do us all a favor. I hear that Moreno Valley is a nice place to move to.

    • Can you imagine the grime? The constant flow of traffic? Now how healthy is that? This is just too funny.

  5. That’s a pretty horrible location for a residential development. People who end up living there will have a hard time turning onto their street because of all the vomiting traffic caused by the 2 freeway. It will be close to impossible to make a left turn onto the street coming up north on Glendale. I once tried to make a left turn on Branden Street to go to Mono Records, and I gave up because the backed up traffic made it impossible.

    • I wonder if they will / can add a traffic light? That could back up the traffic coming off the 2.

      The development looks nice and it will stir commercial growth around there. I’m glad its happening. But $600k seems a bit much. Not too close to the parks of any current buisnesses / attractions. It could become very cool and walkable, but its not right now.

      • Really?, why in hell are you worried about creating more commercial growth? That is a very bizarre comment, especially for one of the most commercially dense areas of Southern California.

        And you show even more lack of any idea of what you are talking about when you urge a traffic signal be put in there. Hey, there has been a traffic signal there at Allesandro and Glendale for approximately forever! Geez!

        And Palmero, if these people are going north on Glendale Blvd., how would they make a “left turn” onto Allesandro, considering that it is not on the left when northbound, it is on the right?

        • more small retail/ consumer oriented businesses along glendale would be a good thing for the local area. if you thought by ‘commercial’ i meant a cement factory, then that’s your problem.

          who’s ‘urging’ a traffic light? read what i wrote. i was simply curious what could happen (for the sake of discussion) and even go on to say it could negatively impact traffic.

          You like living under that bridge, troll?

        • Why are you and Susan saying that the development is on Allesandro? Clearly the map and the article show that it’s on Clifford Street on the west side of Glendale Blvd.

      • It’s hard for me to imagine an area so close to the freeway and so far from any public transportation (I suppose there’s probably two buses every hour, but nothing reliable) ever becoming cool and walkable, but I suppose if it does that would be a good thing.

        • walkable means being within walking distance of shops, restaurants, schools, etc. i guess biking distance too. bus routes change depending on where the people are. there’s not a lot of retail near there now but there are plenty of vacant storefronts and lots that could become occupied if those units fill up with people. glendales a big strip with potential if it can be cleaned up. tthere is a nice school across glendale, so thats a nice feature for potential buyers, but i agree thats it’s a weird location. it’s too close to the 2 for my taste. and making a left out of clifford onto glendale will be impossible 90% of the time.

  6. Great looking project. Been a weed-strewn lot for years now. Despite the traffic, that volume of residents should really stimulate the shops and businesses up and down Glendale, that have struggled for years. I love living in this area and seeing it change and grow.

    • Brock, I love your optimistic attitude but I cannot think of a worse place for this type of development. $600K to look out on gridlock every morning of the week? Are you insane? Landlocked and stuck being only able to exit onto southbound Glendale blvd. This is truly madness.

  7. It’s been a weed strewn lot because the developer(s) who’ve owned it through the years neglected it, hoping the community would then embrace anything they propose (this project has been through a few developers and changes). Standard developer practice.

  8. It seems people will buy anything.

    • These are SFR’s. Not “anything”.

      Given the prospect of paying $2K+ to rent an ordinary 2-bedroom apartment, the average couple will consider paying $3K/month + tax – deductions to “own”.

  9. EchoParkNewbie

    Great news to finally see something built on that empty weed strewn lot. Though given the gritty warehousey nature of that strip, it might have been better to have built something that was more of a live/work kind that was more industrial in nature to attract artists, furniture makers, sculptures, folks make it in to an arts district since EP is attracting that kind of demo already.. that way you get kinda the best of both worlds residents who have a stake in the neighborhood AND business owners and local crafts and artisans who bring vibrancy to the area and a made in LA, made in Echo Park cred to the area..

  10. Not sure I’d want to live in a place that needed double paned glass because freeway noise was so loud. I love to have my windows open to get a nice breeze. These might feel like a prison.
    Additionally, there have been a bajillion studies about the deleterious effects of living within 2500 ft of a freeway, because of exhaust emissions, and other particulates from brakes, tires, etc.

    Perhaps sellers will provide breathing masks along with double paned windows.


  11. From the headline, I at first thought they were talking of the old Senett Studio property on Glendale. But I see not no, it reeally is on Alleesandra at Clifford. I was going to say that Glendale is not a very residential-friendly location, btut ht if big development is to happen in the area, Glendale would be the first place it might get justified.

    But now, I see it on Allesandro, at Clifford, right across the street from Clifford Street School. This many units on Clifford and Allesandro is way too many, yet another of endless overdevelopments Councilman Garcetti has welcomed, paved the away for.

    Yes, a bad location and intersection to impose so much traffic upon. The wait at the traffic signal at Allesandro and Glendale is already unbearable long. Consider having to wait through two cycles of it, thanks to a long line of cars from this overdevelopment. And don;t forget, Garcetti also paved the way for the other overdevelopment a little farther down Allesandro, where there was the big tiff about the trees being cut down.

    Why was nothing of this mentioned in the news before construction is about to get going? How is anyone supposed to speak if they don’t even know about it?

    • We forget, Susan, that overdevelopment is justified by the notion that all these new residents won’t own or use cars. They’ll bike/ bus/ train everywhere and won’t add to congestion, won’t strain resources (like water?), or decrease the local quality of life.

      • I could imagine saying that if this were near Sunset and Alvarado, so that people could bike on several different bike lanes on flat streets, or take the 2, 4, 704, or 200 buses, or even walk to about a million places. But way up here I can’t see them doing anything other than driving.

  12. Just FYI, that hillside property on the north side of Clifford is the site of the dumping of one of the bodies of the victims of the Hillside Strangler in the late 1970s. Will her ghost haunt this project?

  13. Here’s my prediction: By the time the developers complete construction of this complex, interest rates will have risen just enough to cool the housing market, and those units will end up being sold in the mid-$400s.

    • I basically agree. but the price won’t really be any lower. you may be able to say you paid less, but with the higher interest your payment will be the same. What’s more likely is that interest rates will rise slightly and home prices will cease going upwards for awhile. I think $500K is a big number for LA, and once you get above it the amount of qualified buyers decreases. I know right now homes in EP are going for 700K or more, but those are single family homes in better locations and the inventory is ridiculously low. When we talk about 70 attatched townhomes, I think they end up all going in the 500’s. but one way or another, they’ll go for what the market can bear.

  14. When will this boxy-style of architecture finally become passe??? It’s an eyesore on Echo Park Ave and now it will be an eyesore next to the 2.

  15. I’m all for development of this wasted lot, but what a terrible location for housing. Who would ever pay that kind of money to live under the 2? Also, I love the fact that the developer had no idea of the property’s history. Let’s hear it for due diligence. Sounds like a recipe for success…

  16. This is a sure sign we’re entering wacky town again in real estate/development. Artificially low interest rates have money chasing anything, and this will end badly when they return to anything close to historical norms, which they will. Then the idea of a 600K ugly box of a house in this horrible location will seem the folly that it is, and once again we can bail out the morons lending this $.

  17. this project is severely ill-conceived and blindly driven by greed and everything we find repulsive in imperial/corporate expansion. it is appalling that our elected officials have allowed, no, facilitated a project so completely out of touch with the interests of the broader community to proceed with no interest or foresight beyond profit margins and increased tax revenue. Not only is its construction only of marginal benefit to a very few, but typically, they are incapable of seeing the very ground upon which they stand. (just try to imagine the fine view, the clear air, the peaceful quiet you will find on your high-tech, half-mil$ roof deck!) One of the first steps of any budding new Empire is to obliterate whatever history that may linger in the minds of it’s unsuspecting utopian denizens. “…his company was not aware of the property’s Silent Film-era connection” my ass. As if anyone would buy a $12 million property without knowing what its historic use had been. This would be bad enough if this was an isolated incident but its part of a larger pattern of “development” that is subverting the fundamental value of being in this area in the first place. We all know that we’re not here because of the easy access to the freeway. As far as I can tell, we’re here because of the occasional, hillside open spaces, the proximity of the great LA Parks, neighborhood communities, funky local bodegas and hole in the wall taco shops. And yes, its place in the history of the film industry in Los Angeles. Hey, a little gentrification doesn’t have to be a bad thing, a little ‘urban renewal’ improves everyone’s quality of life. But what we have here is BLIGHT. Its a systematic program of internal sprawl that is spreading like a cancer devouring its host. You might say, if you don’t like it, leave. Well I may just. But I won’t be the only one driven out and with us, the artists, writers, musicians, production folk, guru’s, tree huggers and yoga teachers, goes the spiritual core of this area, only to be replaced by corporate ditto-heads who couldn’t care less about where they live as long as its close to the freeway for an ‘easy’ commute to where ever it is that these rats scurry off to during the daylight hours. Sneer if you like, at my speaking truth to injustice, but mark my words, this is a foul wind that will bring no good.

  18. i can’t stand historical sites being bulldozed to make way for the people with money, and that have no creativity or style. artists come into a neighborhood and make it cool, then the greedy ones follow and want a part of it, but they make it shitty real fast, so the artists move on to the next neighborhood. why don’t they spend money restoring what’s left of the beautiful early 1900s (not 1950s) craftsman homes, and restoring the beauty and charm of the very historic neighborhood that already exists under the surface? nothing charming about condos. a community garden would’ve been a much nicer addition. instead our tax dollars will now go to installing more traffic lights and making new parking spaces. bummer…new buildings everywhere…here comes a strip mall…and 10 more starbucks…don’t forget to cut down all the stupid trees to make more room for SUV parking!!! ugh…

  19. This is just another disaster.
    Please join our neighborhood group that is trying to curbed and alter all of the sunset corridor projects coming in.

  20. I’m a local real estate agent and resident. I’ve seen the area change over the years and I drive by this empty lot almost every day. It looks distressed, ugly, and invites crime to the area. I agree with you all that say greedy developers come in, make a killing, and quickly move on.. But frankly, I like the design of the project. And, at those price points it’ll bring in a demographic with disposable income, helping all the surrounding businesses. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product, and what it’ll do to revitalizing Glendale Blvd.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *