Real Estate Monday Cover

Eastside Real Estate & Development News

A former immigrant service center in Boyle Heights and an Echo Park bungalow court are closer to becoming historic landmarks. Opponents line up against a Highland Park residential development. And writer/producer/director Micah Schraft has become a Silver Lake homeowner. Read on for details!

Boyle Heights

The International Institute received a unanimous endorsement from the Cultural Heritage Commission to become a Historic-Cultural Monument. The International Institute of Los Angeles provided resources and services to immigrants, and operated out of the Boyle Avenue address until 2019. The commission said, however, that the rear building has less historical significance than the building in front. The front building at 435 South Boyle Ave. was completed in 1932, and the back building was constructed in the 1950s. Ellia Thompson, a representative for the building’s owner, said the designation would make the building harder to sell. But the Los Angeles Department of City Planning recommended the designation - based on the building's "association with Progressive Era reform, women’s social movements, and patterns of immigration in Los Angeles, and for its association with the development of the Boyle Heights neighborhood," according to the department’s report. In addition, the report called the building "an excellent and intact example of Spanish Colonial Revival institutional architecture...."

Eagle Rock

The small office building at 1605 Colorado Blvd. is to be converted into an optometrist's office, under change-of-use plans that have been filed with the city.

East Hollywood

Pre-demolition and a site plan review have been conditionally approved for a 153-unit residential complex - with an 80 percent increase in density, a 45 percent increase in Floor Area Ratio, and no residential parking spaces, according to city documents. The project sets aside 17 units for extremely low income households  , and, can take advantage of incentives that encourage development along transit lines since its just a short block away from the Metro Red Line Station at Sunset and Vermont.

Echo Park

A Sunset Boulevard bungalow court that’s threatened with demolition took a big step toward becoming a historic landmark, even though the city’s Planning Department was opposed, The Eastsider reported. The Cultural Heritage Commission voted 3-2 earlier this month to declare the Stires Staircase Bungalow Court -- 10 hillside bungalows arranged in a U-shape around a central concrete stairway -- as a city historic cultural monument. This support came as a surprise since the commission usually follows the recommendation of the Planning Department, which said the property failed to meet the criteria needed for it become a landmark.  The commission supported arguments, however, that the court is architecturally significant since it is built on a slope rather than flatlands, and that a one-time owner - banking executive Lilly Bennett Baldwin Howard - counted as a significant historical person.

Highland Park

A proposed development at Avenue 64 and Garvanza Avenue has raised passionate opposition from the community, the Boulevard Sentinel reported. The three-story, 59,000-square-foot, 33-unit residential building would replace an empty lot. But it drew unanimous opposition from public commenters at a recent meeting of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council. Part of the objection is the low number of affordable units in the building - only three out of 33, the bare minimum - and the building style, which clashes with nearby Arts-and-Crafts homes. But there's also a longterm resentment against the developer, an affiliate of Skya Ventures, which evicted 57 tenants from the Marmion Royal Apartments after buying it in in 2016. The Board of the HHPNC has voted unanimously to send letters the Planning Department and District Council 14 opposing the current project.

Silver Lake

Writer/producer/director Micah Schraft - known for his work on TV series' such as "Mrs. America" and "Jessica Jones" - paid $1.775 million for a 3-bedroom/2-bathroom French-Normandy-style home, Variety reported (Variety describes the home as being in Echo Park, but it's in Silver Lake). The home was built in 1915 for silent film actor and director Edward LeSaint, and was later owned by actor and filmmaker Marshall “Mickey” Neilan and silent film star Blanche Sweet. Variety also notes that Schraft has owned a home in Silver Lake since 2014.

That’s it for this issue of Real Estate Monday.

— Barry Lank

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