Echo Park’s million-square-foot neighbor; Playboy Atwater Village studios sold; Goodbye, John Aaroe

A Roundup of Eastside  Real Estate and Development News

Welcome to the first issue of Real Estate Monday, a digest about Eastside real estate news, development and people. In this week’s issue:  A 49-story skyscraper is literally the high point of a massive development proposed for the eastern edge of Echo Park.  Comedian Chris Hardwick has closed on the sale of Eagle Rock’s Bekins Estate at a record-breaking $5.25 million. The large brokerage that bought John Aaroe Group will be opening up an office in a historic Highland Park building.

Read on!

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Real Estate Roundup

Atwater Village

A four-acre Atwater Village studio production and broadcast facility that was once leased to Playboy has been purchased by Gaw Capital Partners, reports Commercial Property Executive. Playboy had a masterlease for the facilities at 3030 Studios near Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road but the company frequently subleased stages to other productions, including the TV soap opera All My Children and Netflix productions, according to the Real Deal. The purchase price was not revealed.

A developer has applied to subdivide 3 lots at 4401 La Clede Avenue in Atwater Village to build an 8-home, townhouse development under the city’s small-lot ordinance.

Boyle Heights

The empty southeast corner of 1st Street and Boyle Avenue, which lies at a prominent gateway to Boyle Heights, is on the road to development, The Eastsider reports. The city is negotiating to sell the 14,000-square-foot vacant parcel to an affordable housing developer.

Two large developments proposed for Metro-owned properties in Boyle Heights will be reviewed this month by the transportation agency’s board,  according to The Source One of the projects at the Mariachi Plaza Gold Line station (across the street from development mentioned in the previous item) calls for 60 units of affordable housing, about 6,300-square-feet of storefronts, a small cultural center and community garden. This represents a much more modest development than a previous proposal that generated substantial community opposition.   Meanwhile, at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Fickett Street,  Metro will consider a project that includes 60 units of affordable housing, space for a 25,000-square-foot grocery store and a smal park.

Eagle Rock

The Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of a  block-long, 26-unit apartment building for the site of a failed Eagle Rock development dubbed “Pillarhenge” by neighbors, The Eastsider said. The developer requested building a project on Colorado Boulevard that is larger than would  normally be allowed in return for including two apartments for very low income tenants.

After sitting empty for more than 3-1/2 years, the former Ernie Jr’s Taco House on the 2800 block of West Broadway might finally be demolished and replaced, The Eastsider said. The William Warren Group, a developer of self-storage facilities, has proposed building a 4-story, nearly 85,000-square-foot Storquest self-storage facility on the property next to the 2 Freeway.

Echo Park

An approximately million-square-foot development with hundreds of apartments, condos, a hotel and two residential towers rising as high as 49 stories could be constructed on the eastern edge of the neighborhood, The Eastsider reported. The conceptual plans announced for the approximately 5.5-acre site at 1111 Sunset Boulevard — the former Metropolitan Water District campus — would dramatically change the eastern gateway to Echo Park and mark the expansion of the Downtown development boom. The investment group behind the project hopes to have it constructed by 2023.

A block-long row of buildings on the south side of Beverly Boulevard between Burlington Avenue and Bonnie Brae Street could be demolished for a five-story, 243-unit apartment building if the developer receives all the necessary approvals, The Eastsider said. Though this project is significantly larger than would normally be allowed, a staff report to the city Planning Commission supports the construction in return for reserving 21 apartments for very low income tenants.

Historic Filipinotown

A developer has filed an application with the Planning Department to subdivide two lots at 141 N. Rampart Blvd.  in preparation for the development of 10 home sites under the city’s small-lot ordinance.

Mount Washington

An application has been filed with the Planning Department to build a nearly 44-foot-tall single-family home on a vacant lot at 4806 N Glenalbyn Dr.

An application has been filed with the Planning Department to build a 2-story home with a basement at 4064 San Rafael Drive.

Silver Lake

A developer wants to carve up a property at 1132-1134 Hyperion Avenue in order to build four small-lot homes. Planning Department

Notable Sales

The sale of the former Bekins Estate in Eagle Rock to comedian Chris Hardwick closed last week at $5.25 million.  That’s $345,000 less than the asking price but it is easily a record-high price for the neighborhood that probably won’t be broken anytime soon.

The Heninger House — a  somewhat grand, somewhat scary  1911  Highland Park Craftsman — attracted a lot of attention last November when it went up for sale as a $1 million fixer. Well, at least one buyer was not scared off by all the work this place will need. It sold last week for $1.265 million or $176,000 over asking.

A 600-square-foot Angeleno Heights home promoted as a “great fixer opportunity” sold for $465,000 or $216,000 over asking.


Marijuana grows no longer have to operate under wraps with the legalization of recreational marijuana. Case in point is an East L.A. warehouse on Olympic Boulevard that is promoting itself as  “marijuana compliant.”

On The Market

New Listings From Eastsider Sponsors

Architecture & Design

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the multi-million dollar renovation of Silver Lake’s Silvertop, the space-age home designed by legendary architect John Lautner.  Beats Electronics president Luke Wood, hired Silver Lake architect Barbara Bestor to oversee the extensive and costly rehab of the home that sits on the ridge west of the Silver Lake Reservoir.  The home’s lighting system alone cost an estimated $1 million.  The renovated home had a coming-out-party of sorts last October with 300 persons in attendance. “First of all, I have never seen anything like this,” director R.J. Cutle told the Hollywood Reporter.


There’s a new broker in town.  Pacific Union International, which purchased John Aaroe Group and Partners Trust, is opening a new office in Highland Park in the former Frank’s Camera building on Figueroa, according to people familiar with the deal. Pacific Union will operate 20 offices with 900 agents in the Los Angeles area.

New York-based Compass has picked up another agent who has been active in Eastside real estate. Jessie Thurston who operates under The Big Sky LA brand, is now a member of the brokerage.

Former Ernie Jr’s Taco House in Eagle Rock could be demolished | Photo by Brenda Rees

That’s it for the first issue of Real Estate Monday. We will be back next Monday.

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One comment

  1. Why is the $5.25 million sale price for the Bekin’s Estate considered a “record-high price for the Eagle Rock neighborhood”?
    The parcel is almost 3 acres in size.
    One acre is 43.560 square feet.
    You do the math and compare to recent residential sales in Eagle Rock. The $/sq. ft. of land paid by hardwick is certainly no record.
    The home itself is slightly under 9.000 sq. ft.
    Which means the home itself cost hardwick less than $800/sq. ft.
    Is that a record price in the Rock? I’ll let the real estate brokers answer that question.

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