Eastside Real Estate & Development News
Welcome to a digest of Eastside real estate news, development and people. In this week’s issue:
What can be done with the landmark but mostly empty General Hospital building in Boyle Heights? Classic Mid-Century designer duplexes and homes are now for sale in Highland Park and Silver Lake. And development continues on the eastern edge of Echo Park with a proposal for a 70-unit apartment complex.
Real Estate Roundup
Could the old Los Angeles County General Hospital Building be turned into a mixed-use project with housing? Supervisor Hilda Solis has proposed that the county study whether that’s feasible. The 1.5 million square feet of space in the 19-story landmark has been almost entirely unused since 2008, when a replacement hospital opened next door, according to Urbanize. A previous proposal to turn the building into an incubator for biotech firms went nowhere. While a wellness center staffed by multiple agencies is located on the first floor, the vast majority of the Art Deco landmark remains empty.
Converting the building into housing will require a lot of technical analysis, as well as research into how it might be financed, Solis noted. “Significant alterations or demolition of the building are not viable options,” she added, “due to its historic designation.”
The neighborhood’s building boom continues. The latest is a 70-unit apartment complex with 35 parking spaces in the 1200 block of Sunset Boulevard near Marion Avenue, according to the Planning Department. The site is currently occupied by some hillside bungalow courts near Guisados. The project, if it receives necessary approvals, will join several others that have been built or are planned for the eastern stretch of Sunset.
Leanne Ford, star of HGTV’s “Restored by the Fords,” has sold her 2-bedroom, 1-bath Elysian Heights home for $1.178 million, according to Redfin. That’s $378,000 more than what she paid two years ago. The 1911 cabin-style home was once owned by silent film actress Clara Kimball Young, who had her own production company, reports Curbed. Ford, in one of her signature designer touches, coated the interior in white paint.
If an all-white cabin is not your thing, how about a watermelon-colored apartment complex? The brightly colored, Spanish-Colonial apartment buildings at the corner of Echo Park Avenue and Fairbanks Place are now for sale at $9.2 million. The investors, who purchased the property three years ago for $7.2 million, painted the exterior a shade of bright pink as part of their plans to make the place look like a “Moroccan boutique hotel.” The 1920s-era complex was once known as McCallister Manor and was later dubbed “Big Mama Court,” the nickname given by the authors of the 1982 book “Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles,” in “honor of its tenacious manager.”
A duplex designed by architect Allyn Edward Morris has hit the market, with an asking price of $1,275,000, according to Redfin. Each unit is 2-bedroom/1-bath. The sellers say they have renovated the house’s natural wood, as well as the drainage. Morris, whom the L.A. Conservancy describes as “one of Los Angeles’ lesser-known modernists,” is best known for his Morris Studio in Silver Lake.
A three-bedroom Mid-Century Modern by noted architect Gilbert Leong has just hit the market for $1,699,000. Leong was a Chinese-American architect who did a lot of work across Los Angeles designing churches and other public buildings. This Silver Lake home at 2479 Moreno Dr. was built around 1951 but still includes many original details, such as the decorative wood and glass room dividers.
The City Council rejected a proposal to declare a former Texaco gas station in Silver Lake a cultural-historic monument, The Eastsider reported. The 10-0 vote comes after officials struck a deal with the property owner to move the 1940s-era station to a site along the L.A. River so a residential and commercial development could be built on the site. The vote was a defeat for local preservationists, who wanted the gas station, now a car repair shop, restored and left in place near other Streamline-modern buildings that line Silver Lake Boulevard. It was also a blow to the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission, which voted in favor of declaring the building a historic cultural monument as “a rare, surviving example of an automobile commercial development from the 1940s.”
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That’s it for this issue of Real Estate Monday. We will be back next Monday.
— Barry Lank & Jesús Sanchez
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