Sunday, October 23, 2016

Big chunk of Echo Park put up for sale


ECHO PARK — The cluster of buildings near the southwest corner of Sunset and Alvarado is home to a hodgepodge of businesses, ranging from Lucy’s laundrymat and Hit Bargain discount store to Wells Tile & Antiques and  Rewind Audio.  After being under the same ownership for 50 years, the approximiately 1.14-acre property is now up for sale, with marketing brochures playing up the possibilities of redeveloping the site into a large commercial project.

The asking price for the property, which includes frontage on Sunset Boulevard as well as Alvarado Street, was not disclosed, according to the listing on LoopNet. The sale does not include the businesses or the corner building that contains Pizza Buona, which is in the process of finding a new home in the face of a steep rent increase.

What can you do with a little more than an acre of property near the corner of Sunset and Alvarado? The marketing materials claim that the zoning would allow all sorts of commercial and mixed-use type of development:

The property’s inherent values lies in its pro-mixed use district and rare density provisions, which allow for nearly unrestricted opportunities …”

The property was put on the market after several other recent large property sales have taken place in the area, including the $18 million paid by a downtown developer for a portfolio of apartment and commercial properties near Echo Park Lake.

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  1. Small scale (3-4 storey) classic design to fit within the context of the community. Make it mixed use with housing above, ground floor retail with no setback to activate the street. Make parking underground and accessible from the rear or on Mohawk.

    Not every development has to be despised and the right design staff could make something appropriate and tasteful for the area.

    • I don’t know the zoning here, but I doubt they’ll go above 6 or 7 floors, as that will require steel construction (a lot more expensive.)

      One thing to keep in mind though, is all the older mixed use buildings along Sunset that tend to compliment the street (charming, human scale) were built prior to the city’s arbitrary, suburban parking mandates. It’s difficult to build something like that today, when you have to construct it on top of an industrial scale parking garage.

      And the rents will no doubt be quite high, largely as a result (parking spots cost about $40k a pop to build in an urban setting.)

      • Yup sadly the suburban parking requirements with wide curb cuts/driveway ramps and added expense seem to make good urban projects impossible.

    • Thanks for specifying that the housing should be above the retail ;p

  2. Wow. This is an environment changer, meaning this will most likely be a large apartment/mixed use project that will definitely alter the overall feel of that corner. I understand the LA we grew up in is changing and I’m not opposed to change, but tasteful and well designed change is few and far between in LA nowadays. I hope it is a developer who appreciates good design.

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