Goodbye Echo Park bungalows, hello new 3-story homes


ECHO PARK – A cluster of classic, Spanish-Revival style bungalows on Echo Park Avenue could be demolished to make way for as many as a dozen new homes, according to city records.

An application filed by the developer with the Planning Department seeks permission to carve up the property at 1456 Echo Park Avenue to build up to 12 single-family homes under the city’s small-lot development ordinance, which allows for more dense development of single-family homes. The project, proposed by Bixel House LLC, would require the demolition of 7 apartments and the removal of nearly 4,000 cubic feet of earth.

This project of 3-story homes would have a big impact on this section of the avenue, where most of the surrounding one- and two-story buildings date back to the 1920s or earlier and there has not been much in the way of new construction during the past 30 years.

The request to subdivide the property would be subject to public hearings and additional reviews. Stay tuned.

Update: In response to the developer’s application, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell issued the following response through his spokesman, Tony Arranaga: “This proposal flies in the face of historic preservation and the Councilmember’s efforts at revising the Small Lot Subdivision ordinance …. In addition, the proposal does not align with the Councilmember’s goals to maintain the historic character of our Echo Park neighborhood.”

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. This will ruin the overall feel and ambience of this block. I’m completely opposed to the demolition of a classic, California bungalow court and the massive evictions going on right now with all the tenants involved. I am not opposed to development, but not sandwiched in between one story residential units! This is an outrage! Echo Park’s history is being wiped out. I hope this bungalow court can be saved!!!

  2. “Could”? How do I stop this?

  3. where will all the EXP go?

  4. Why don’t they put in a Home Depot or a Target on the Avenue while they’re at it?

    Don’t forget, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell — you’re up for reelection next year. Don’t get too comfortable with the hundreds of thousands of dollars you’ve raised if you keep ignoring issues like this. Don’t know much about challenger Bill Zide, but so far he appears to be hitting the right notes on this kind of development:


  5. There is a lot of housing stock worth preserving in that neighborhood. Those tired stucco boxes with shingles are not one of them. And Echo Park Ave is in a valley right there; plenty of houses look down on the neighbors.

    • Really? Not worth preserving? “Tired stucco boxes with shingles.” You’re the one who is tiresome. And I’ve heard shingles can be really painful. I sense you’re the one looking down at the neighbors.

  6. My hometown is being ruined, absolutely ruined.

  7. Such charming little bungalows. What a shame.

  8. Another aspect of this is that the units currently on the property are rent-stabilized, according to the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department. (The city’s zoning map, Zimas, incorrectly states that they aren’t.)

    Where are these folks going to move to? What kind of income bracket will be needed to move into one of the new 3-story homes? Losing rent-stabilized units is not a good look in the midst of a homelessness crisis.

    WHERE did my ECHO PARK GO?
    MITCH O, if you let this happen, I guarantee you WILL NOT BE REELECTED!

  10. CanaryintheCoalmine

    The update is great. Thank you. It’s good to see Mitch O’Farrell is on this. These bungalows house good hardworking people that have called Echo Park their home their whole lives. These are good people and don’t deserve to be displaced and moved out of the neighborhood. These bungalows also have the last lemon tree from the Fairbanks Lemon Grove. They are a beautiful example of California bungalow architecture.
    Echo Park Avenue should remain the way it is- quaint and lovely.

  11. Stack and pack is the order of the day.

  12. I get that the Spanish bungalows are charming, so people want those preserved, but if you put that issue to the side for a moment…and you focus on people saying “we don’t want those poor rent controlled tenants to have to move”, do you realize that if all of the existing housing stock is stuck in amber for perpetuity, then no one should be shocked nor complain that rents and housing prices just keep going up and up. If you have a parcel where there is a triplex, but you can build 7 new homes, or in this case, land with 7 units and 12 units could replace it…then that helps temper the market so that the existing inventory doesn’t become so frothy and even more expensive. Did anyone here ever take an economics course in high school? Or let me guess, most of you commenters are rent-controlled tenants who are pulling the ladder up since you’re already here? Keep bullying O’Farrell into bending to your demands, but you are the ones who are successfully turning LA into Manhattan and the Bay Area by not allowing new development.

    • Not only that but rent control is one of the core reasons for inflated rents. Price fixing never works! Just ask anyone who lived through it when Nixon tried. It always reeks havoc on what would normally be a free market with normal price fluctuations. With the RSO the below market rents are subsidized by above market rents – which eventually become the norm rather than a natural supply/demand flow.

      • Please list historical examples of what you contest.

        The “free market” has never done anything but push for higher profits
        For the individual. The wealthy and privileged prosper & the least vulnerable members
        Of society suffer.

        Republicans believe in the power of the “free market” because they want to rape and pillage and enrich themselves. Free market advocates believe in the individual and the destruction of government.

        Democrats /Progressives believe in an actual society with a government that protects us from free market republicans.

        Problem is, this county is filled with fact free idiots who are easily duped by republicans to vote against their own interests and placing blame on those who suffer most from republican policies, such as low income people who need rent control.

        • Republicans?! Dude do you know what city (and state for that matter) you are in? Not a republican in sight. And yes, you are right social welfare for poor people (like rent control- only it’s the landlord who has to subsidize the poor- not the tax payer) are democratic ideas. The point is you can’t have it both ways. If you are going to artificially fix prices (rent control) then the consequences will manifest in other unintended ways. In the case of housing artificially inflated rates for others.

          Here is the Cato inst remembering the disaster of Nixon’s efforts to fix prices and how it affected the markets. You can’t have it both ways.


  13. What are the chances of getting an HPOZ (Historic Preservation Overlay Zone) on Echo Park Ave from, say, the 101 to Delta St? Seems like a good candidate–lots of great buildings worth preserving and, along with the lake and former red car line, there is an interesting story there as well.

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