Thursday, October 20, 2016

More housing headed for Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park

Rendering of 1750 Glendale | Courtesy Three6ixty

Rendering of 1750 Glendale | Courtesy Three6ixty

ECHO PARK –– The stretch of Glendale Boulevard north of Sunset Boulevard can be a tough place. Traffic is often jammed with motorists traveling between the 2 Freeway and Downtown; homeless men and woman are a common sight and rival gang tags are frequently spray painted on walls. But a Canadian developer is betting that more people are ready to call Glendale Boulevard home and is seeking to build a 70-unit apartment building on the corridor.

The project, which would rise between three to five stories in height, would be located at the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Aaron Street, which is now occupied by an auto repair shop and some vacant lots. The 70 units would include seven apartments for very-low income tenants as well well as seven townhome-style units on the top floor, said Dana A. Sayles, a consultant on the project.

Sayles said the project would be the first to bring live-work units to this stretch of Glendale Boulevard, with eight live-work units proposed for the ground floor at the front of the building. The project would also include two levels of parking with 89 spaces for motor vehicles and 80 bike space, she said.

The owners, identified as Aragon Properties through online real estate records, could have built a larger, 77-unit building under current zoning, Sayles said. However, Aragon is seeking city permission to exceed certain density limits that apply to the site. A public hearing on that issue will be held early next year but a date has not bee scheduled..

Aragon has also proposed building a 214-unit apartment complex on Sunset Boulevard in the east end of Echo Park. That project has met with neighborhood opposition.

On Glendale Boulevard, Aragon’s 70-unit apartment complex would join a growing number of residential projects that have been proposed or have been built. A block north near the 2 Freeway exit, SL70, a development of 70, for-sale townhomes, is in the final stages of construction.

glendale boulevard map

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  1. attorney robert silverstein from Los Angeles Times
    The man who stopped a Target
    Los Angeles Times-Oct 14, 2015
    Pasadena attorney Robert P. Silverstein cuts and thrusts in the fray. His winning legal maneuvers on behalf of neighborhood groups and a …sue the city planner hes won who wins for neighborhoods

  2. You write that this will be three to five stories in height. But the entire artists rendering you posted is all five stories in height. You’re being quite inconsistent. Which is it?

    I also note, he could not build more units there under the zoning — unless he built cheaper, smaller units. He is already built as tall as allowed and over the amount of land as he is allowed, so the only way to get more units is to build smaller, cheaper units. He instead has chose to maximize profits by building bigger units. He is maced out, so don’t believe it when he touts how he could have built more. This is a maxed-out project.

    I also note, generally, two park spaces are required per unit, but this is putting in little more than one: 89 spaces for 70 units. The plan implictely projects that 80 people in the building will not even own a car, will ride bicycles instead. Yeah, sure. Where are the cars going to park? Even bicycle riders have cars. And consider if all these building being proposed in this strip does the same, imagine the cumulative effect! By putting in bicycle spaces instead of cars,he uses much less space for parking, and that space can have more units built on it,more larger, costlier units.

    No matter that the city has now said development projects can trade out car parking spaces for bicycle parking instead (the bicycle movement is in lock step with overdevelopment, is the justification for overdevelopment), this is not a reasonable location for such a trade, not Glendale Boulevard with all that traffic, and no parking allowed at rush hour. That is a matter for a CEQA-required EIR to address. Unfortunately, the city ignores the law left and right and instead grants approval on the basis that there will be no impact — the city knows it is quite costly to hire a lawyer to fight in court, so gets away with breaking the law. has no conscience whatsoever.

    And Councilman O’Farrell time and again has refused to even allow people fighting other projects who have PAID for an appeal before the city council to even have a chance to speak when the matter comes before the council, instead he sees to it that it is on the “consent calender,:” and even when pleaded with in advance, he refuses to take it off the consent calendar and let the appellants have even one minute to speak. O’FARRELL HAS TO GO! HEW SHOULD BE RECALLED. HE IS LNIING HIS POCKETS WITH HUGE AMOUNTS OF”CONTRIBUTIONS” FROM DEVELOPERS, JUST LOOK AT HIS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION LIST, a huge amount and pretty much all from developers and their associated people, like their lawyers, the building unions,their suppliers..

    • Neighbors you better get organized if you want to have any input whatsoever on this proposed eyesore. Such a generic piece of garbage– really Aragon! It’s like they took a slice of the first pass renders on the Do It Center and parked it on Glendale– but this time with no step back.

      89 spots for 70 units. That means there mustn’t be any 2 bedrooms in this box. So much for the promise of family life— and in such proximity to a school! Shameful.

      8 live-work units are likely parked as two bedrooms with a whopping two parking spots each. If they really believe that these will be 8 small businesses, where the heck do the employees and patrons park? We all hope successful businesses develop at these so-called live-work units they are pushing all over LA; so why are the City and the Developers building in a hurdle to success by failing to provide client or employee parking? Neighbors need to advocate for a shared parking plan, and hire a traffic engineer to closely dissect the circulation issues at the site.

      • More parking = more traffic and higher rents.

        And either way, I imagine the developer (and their lenders) have already crunched the numbers on the parking… after all, it’s their loss if the units sit empty.

        • You have no idea how rent levels are set, do you? They will be set at the highest price the landlord can get, regardless of any parking spaces. They will not be lowering rent because they are allowed to build even more units, they will simply collect that top rent price on more units. If the developer has to build less, he will still get no more than that maximum rent tenants will/can pay.

          That is how economics works. And if the developer has to build fewer units because of more parking spaces, that means fewer tenants — and thus, fewer cars. In other words, more units means more cars, no matter the number of parking spaces. So, more parking spaces actually will result in your goal of fewer cars.

          The residents will have cars whether he provides parking spaces or not. Even the bike activists have cars, and they have to be parked. Believing otherwise is simply keeping your head in the sand. Wishful thinking will not make for a good project.

          Even two cars per unit is sorely insufficient — where is that third person in the two-bedroom units going to park, where do you think their visitors are going to park, as they are going to be driving there, no matter what mode of transport you might prefer. And there are no streets there for them to park on.

          They will park blocks away, and you will have a bunch of pedestrians now running around in rush hour traffic on Glendale Bouleverd, darting across the street (there are no streets on that side of Glendale Blvd to park until you start going down Allesandro), and on a sidewalk a couple feet wide and with no setback from the curb, and this building in the drawing with no setback from the sidewalk.

          If you want to have injured people and dead bodies laying on Glendale Boulevard, then approve this plan — and the supporters of it can be responsible for those deaths.

          This proposal is a major disaster.

          • OMG it’s the end of the world!

          • Earthquakes and droughts are major disasters. This is just crappy cinder block and wood frame apartment building.

            The side street parking garage entrance sucks and is a black hole.

            The frontage on the major street only feigns openness to the street. Little dog-shit nature mini-parks adjacent the sidewalk, no awnings, and little walls to make dirty little ground level balconies.

            I’m sure the unit design is similarly dismal.

            I wouldn’t expect anything better given the massive risks of trying to do anything in LA. Why spend time making a project you love when every jackass in the area is claiming what you are doing is a “major disaster”.

            Good grief.

          • “And if the developer has to build fewer units because of more parking spaces, that means fewer tenants — and thus, fewer cars.” It would also mean less revenue. Plus, parking is very expensive to build. So how would a developer make up the revenue “lost” from building fewer units, and for the costs of building additional parking? Increase rent! This is why every new development is a “luxury development.”

            Anyway, this development should be put in Altadena or somewhere else far away. That way it’ll have ZERO impact on good ol’ Glendale Boulevard.

          • I think maybe you’re the one who doesn’t understand economics… parking is an expensive amenity. The market rate a landlord is able to charge on an apartment with parking is *significantly* higher than what she can charge for a similar unit without.

  3. This is the last thing we need in this area! Glendale is jammed already, especially during rush hour. The new townhomes are absolutely ugly and provide no privacy for residents (or passersby). There is no plant life, sound barrier, decorative walls, etc. shielding the home from the road. So, you’re left looking at an aesthetic eyesore — big, white boxes that block views of the hills we once had. I can’t fathom who is moving into these, with the location being immediately next to a freeway on/offramp.

    This road does not have the capacity for 80+ cars during peak hours, nor does it have the capacity to play host to any sort of living or nightlife district. It was primarily industrial and single family residential for the past 100 or so years, and the local narrow streets are indicative of it’s intended low-traffic status. Single family homes, if done right, might work. I’d love to see artist studios or lofts — if only to keep some longtime residents around (because 7 apartments isn’t enough to hold displaces families, businesses and artists). But a 5 story apartment building? That rises far above anything in the immediate area? No way.

    Let’s not forget the beast Aragon is building on Sunset.

    • The road easily has capacity for 80 cars on peak hours – its a 6 lane road. The road is full of cars because of all the commuter traffic coming in off the 2, but it’s not like Glendale is a tiny street or anything; its a major artery.
      They can zone for 77 already…so a big apartment building is coming. Single family homes here is obviously not going to happen.

  4. What Glendale Avenue needs is more congestion. Tell me, does this road lead to Rowena? muahahaaahaa!!

  5. I’m just surprised that anyone would actually invest in this stretch… the city couldn’t make it more of a disgusting traffic sewer if they tried.

    • The traffic eye sores and homeless came to us , some of us who live on Glendale Boulevard remember when traffic on Glendale Boulevard traffic was from 5pm to 6pm an that was it.
      The truth is that l.a has grown an is ripping at the seams.
      But for the few single family homes that live on or around Glendale Boulevard it is insulting to call it a sewer.
      We do all we can to push the homeless along coming from downtown to who knows where , make calls to clean graffiti , etc so on and so forth.
      People loooove Echo Park , but only care for the hills and anything along Sunset Boulevard. Thats it.
      I agree Mitch O Farrell NEEDS to go and throw in ERIC GARCETTI !
      They only care about going to Laker games and special interests.

      • I wasn’t talking about the homeless… And I certainly don’t blame the locals. The traffic sewer is due to the city prioritizing commuter throughout and top auto speeds, over community circulation, public safety and property values.

        • Please get a clue what you are talking about.. The traffic there is from the STATE highway, Route 2. The city didn’t build that or ask for it, the state did. What the city did was build downtown too big, and that is why all the traffic is going down Glendale Blvd to get there. But you advocate more big development and live in a fantasy dream land where no one wants a car if they would just please be allowed to not use one. If your Fantasyland of what people want were true, the streets would already be vacant — the buses will take you anywhere you want. People clearly don’t want that.

          • The city designed the street as an extension of the highway, with very wide lanes, traffic lights synced for high speeds, and very few places to safely cross the street. Of course most people don’t want to walk, cycle or ride the bus through here, it’s a miserable place by design. And by discouraging foot traffic, we discourage local commerce and a sense of community.

            In more enlightened big cities, once you exit the freeway, the streets are designed for people first and foremost. You have to slow down and respect the neighborhood you’re passing through. And as a result, these neighborhoods are pleasant and productive places to live.

            You really think downtown LA is too big? LOL, it’s half empty! The idea that we should limit growth in our city center, so we can move more cars *through it* at top speed is just absurd. Urban infrastructure exists to *encourage* economic growth, not limit it. Downtown is supposed to be the heart of our city… not a kidney.

        • You think property values around here, and anywhere in Southern California, aren’t high enough?! Gee, you need to get out of the house sometime..

          • I think our zoning codes and city ordinances are outdated, and only benefit those who already own property (a minority in this city) by suppressing more organic growth in the urban housing market.

            CA property values are distorted by the fact that we don’t build anywhere near the quantity (or variety) of urban housing the market is demanding. Look at what’s happening up in the Bay Area. Intense job growth, with very restrictive zoning = gentrification on steroids.

            A lot of selfish homeowners would rather see the working class and younger generations priced out of California full stop, then allow Los Angeles or San Jose to grow into more conventional big cities.

  6. This seems terribly nice for what is an awful stretch of a street. I would think people would be more appreciative of developments such as this. Thank god for developers with the vision to see past the current crappy conditions toward a better future.

    • Vision? Better future? Would you please think about what you say before the vomit it. If that’s the future, lets just give North Korea our longitude and latitude for their nukes and end things now.

  7. I would love it if they were rebuilding the whole block all the way from Aaron to Branden Street. I can’t tell if they are from the artist’s rendering but a girl can dream…….If there is a way to lend my support without having to attend a daytime meeting I would certainly add my voice to those in favor of this fantastic looking development.

  8. Are people really suggesting that this project is uglier than what’s there right now? Open your eyes.

    And traffic is already so bad there that 80 more cars isn’t going to make that much of a difference. At some point your going to have to unclutch your pearls about the idea that people will find ways to travel without a car.

    This is a scuzzy stretch of street, but it’s projects like this that make it less scuzzy.

    • Gawd…. Have you no imagination whatsoever. This could be anything! Why so willing to sell echo park short? Don’t eagerly lap up tired designs devoid of architectural interest because we should be grateful for the “clean up?” This is another out of character development that could be made better with total redesign.

      No step back, minimal articulation, does not address the street, car oriented, sad landscape buffer, cookie cutter boring. Misses the opportunity to plan ahead for deeper retail storefronts that could move in to the live/work as the area develops. Materiality… Yeah, love white stucco. Gonna look awesome with a bunch of satellite dishes and clutter hanging off those fabulous sawtooth balconies. How modern!

      Hope tenants get a HEPA purifier as a lease signing bonus.

      • Hey Jennufer D, do you know whats going on with Aragon’s other project on sunset near the old do-it center? i think i remember you saying it could be off due to a dirty site just curious.

        Also, while I don;t always agree with your positions, thanks for being so involved and informed in EP development activity!

        • It’s a lot of work to attempt to stay abreast of all the development in EP. Would love to see you at a meeting on one of these!

          Last I heard Aragon was attempting to off-load the do it center and Everett at. Parcels but couldn’t find interest due to the Geotech and other hazards at the site. Methane, tar, toxics lingering from past industrial uses, etc. Also, Silverstein is involved.

          Incidentally, the investor who bought the hillside bungalows next to Aragon is also getting cold feet and selling. Eastsider covered that a few months back. Slope stability is a very real concern for these steep parcels over a documented (thrust) fault.

          Aragon has had a scoping meeting for the EIR they are preparing. No word yet on when the draft will publish.

          They can still develop the 6 unit small lot on Everett and build on the flat portion of the do it center where the car wash is on sunset. The issues are mainly isolated to the sharply sloped portion of the property (where they could do some kind of adaptive reuse of the warehouse to avoid all these complications).

          Greed gets in the way! They have less than $7M invested in all 16 parcels, including the very lucrative small lot on Everett, which is all on the same permit and EIR.

      • Exactly! Let’s get something cool in here and not another “could be anywhere” development that doesn’t respect the neighborhood’s rich history.

  9. Proper timing of the traffic signals could go a long way to making this stretch of Glendale work better, especially during peak hours. Too many signals at small streets.

    • I was under the impression that all of the lights in LA are controlled by ATSAC (http://bit.ly/1krEaEc)

      I doubt there’s much more that can be done to speed up cars (short of implementing congestion fees on more of our roads.) and anyway, I think obsessing by over traffic flow we’re missing the forrest for the trees. We should be slowing down cars, building wider sidewalks, more signals and crosswalks. Bring investment and prosperity *to* the community, instead of being a doormat to all the other communities that just want to pass through.

      • That can and should be done in many instances. However, this stretch is a bit unique in that there really aren’t very many options to get from the Eagle Rock/Highland Park area, across the 5/river and down to 101/Sunset/Alvarado. For better or worse it does need to function as a highway during peak traffic times. That’s just how it is. More crosswalks will not turn this area into a pedestrian paradise with cafes on the sidewalks. It’s a funnel to dtwn and the above mentioned thoroughfares.

        • A light rail line through here (from Downtown LA to Glendale) would be ideal… but probably not gonna happen in my lifetime.

          • Yes, but it’s going to largely residential areas, and folks will still need to mostly drive to rail station…. right? And the doesn’t solve the issue of folks who need to use this route to get to mid city, hollywood etc. in the morning. It’s an unfortunate situation, but what other routs should folks take to get across the 5/LA river from NELA? Brand and across the Hyperion bridge? Stadium Way?

    • 100% agree.

      The light at Glendale and Alvardo is green for WAY too short a time, especially going south on Glendale.

      Also, they should build a pedestrian bridge over Glendale, make it an easy jump with no traffic signal to wait for.

  10. The city needs to buy this land to keep it out of the hands of developers who could care less about the future of Echo Park. Maybe this is fine, maybe not. But the likelihood that any part of this projects shape took shape out of a consideration other than money is nil.
    As a general rule we need to shape the community in terms of laws and construction projects in a way that is agreed upon by the residents in direct vicinity of the goals of a private, for profit venture. The only way this can be achieved is if everyone makes their voices heard at a local level, and if good people begin to run for positions of govt at all levels. In America today, we see people with extreme wealth able to force their will on people and it needs to be stopped. So much of LA has fallen victim to this. You see these horrific over priced apartment buildings and you wonder “Why the fuck did they put that there?” And the answer is “they” are on a yacht somewhere sipping martinis, and couldn’t give a fuck about “there'” and “that” was just the most profitable thing to make.

  11. Wow…..You all do realize this is SR 2? A state highway? What better place to put the density? Would you prefer the hills? Angelino Heights? It boggles the mind, honestly…..Put the density on transit corridors so we may legitimately ask for relief in the residential areas.

    Otherwise, Garcetti and his “100,000” housing units will be on a sleepy corner near you. Blimey….y’all need to get a handle on give and take…


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