BOYLE HEIGHTS — Metro has tried for years to develop two neighborhood sites it owns only to have met with stiff opposition from residents or other problems. This month, after going to back to the drawing board, officials at the transportation agency will be reviewing new proposals that call for a mix of affordable housing, shops, parks and even even a mariachi cultural center.
On Wednesday, Metro’s planning committee is scheduled to review recommendations by agency staff for the project next to the Mariachi Plaza Gold Line station and another site near Cesar Chavez Avenue and Fickett Street. In both cases, the committee members would vote on whether to begin exclusive negotiations with each developer.
Lucha Reyes Apartments Proposal
The property next to Mariachi Plaza and across from White Memorial hospital was once part of a larger and controversial project that was shot down by residents and activist amid concerns about gentrification.
Metro staff are now backing the East Los Angeles Community Corp. and its much more modest proposal for the approximately 1-acre site. The same nonprofit renovated the historic Boyle Hotel across the street into an affordable housing complex and has spearheaded efforts to oppose or at least slow the pace of gentrification in Boyle Heights.
Here are the highlights of their Mariachi Plaza proposal:
- 60-unit affordable apartment housing complex named in honor of mariachi Lucha Reyes
- About 6,300 square-feet of ground floor retail space
- Mariachi cultural center
- Community garden
More details about the project can be found here.
Chavez Gardens Proposal
The proposal for Chavez Gardens by Abode Communities, the developer recommended by Metro staff, includes a grocery store for these Metro-owned lots at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Fickett Street. Abode is the same developer that is building La Veranda, a 77-unit affordable housing complex one block west of Chavez Gardens.
Here are the highlights of the Chavez Gardens proposal:
- 60 units of affordable housing in two buildings connected by a pedestrian bridge
- 25,000-square-foot grocery store
- 6,500-square-foot community park
Go here for the project details
After Metro’s planning committee weighs in on the staff recommendations, the full Metro board will review the projects later this month.
Update: The planning committee approved the start of negotiations with the two developers. The matter now goes to the full Metro board for a final vote.
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