Real Estate Monday Cover

Eastside Real Estate & Development News

A round up the latest real estate news.

The state will be left to continue cleaning up lead and other toxins from in Boyle Heights, East L.A. and other areas after a bankruptcy judge allowed Exide Technologies to abandon its former battery-recycling plant in Vernon, The Eastsider reported. The ruling allows Exide to formally abandon the site by the end of the month, after which the state will need to take over environmental remediation efforts. Out of all the surrounding areas, Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles had the highest rates of lead contamination, according to an analysis by the L.A. Times in 2018. They also showed the highest level of lead in baby teeth, according to a 2019 study by the University of Southern California.

East Hollywood

The Target store on Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue is finally planning to open after 10 years under construction and lawsuits. Los Angeleno marks the occasion by interviewing the, uh … the construction site. After sitting idly for so long, the unfinished building seems to have soaked up a solid media savvy - growing substantial followings on Facebook and Twitter under the name Target Husk. “…It’s a very weird feeling to be on the precipice of this new, yet perhaps inevitable, dawn,” the store told Los Angeleno. “… I feel like I’ve come a really long way, from a half-building covered in fading house wrap, to an actual big-box department store with a working elevator."

A four-story, 20-unit apartment structure is being proposed for 923 N. Ardmore Ave. Details are scant so far, but it is being pitched as part of a transportation oriented community, which usually means it will be bigger than normally allowed because its located near major transit lines. There are three buildings currently listed on the property - a two-unit structure from 1912, a one-bedroom from 1926, and a three-bedroom built in 1939. The property was last sold on June 12, 2019, for $1,365,013.

Echo Park

The Taix French Restaurant building is now officially under consideration as a historic landmark - with all the complications this particular monument would carry, The Eastsider said. The Cultural Heritage Commission voted to officially take the property at 1911-1929 W. Sunset Blvd. under consideration - with Commission President Richard Barron noting that most projects that come before the commission pass this basic entrance ritual. The hard part will be deciding whether to preserve the building or the business. The owner of Taix Restaurant, Mike Taix, has said it's not possible to do both. He said he cannot continue the restaurant in the current building, which is why he sold the property to a developer who wants to transform it into at 170-unit residential complex.

Plans for a 73-unit development on north Alvarado Street made it through the L.A. Planning Commission, which approved a project that is larger and more dense than would normally allowed, The Eastsider reported. The five-story mixed-used project at 418-430 N. Alvarado Street - just south of the 101 Freeway - will be approximately 52,000 square feet, including 500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. The project will also contain 81 parking spaces. Six of the units will be set aside for low-income tenants for a period of 55 years. As a result, the project was granted a "density bonus"  to increase its height beyond the normal 3-story limit.

Lincoln Heights

A campus that used to be operated by the Carmelite Sisters is lined up to become creative office space, The Eastsider reported. The property at 2417-2455 North Thomas St. and 2428-2436 N. Gates St. is to be renovated and rezoned under the plan. The campus formerly had a convent, chapel, school, and daycare center. The Little Flower Educational Child Care Center closed on August 31, 2017 after being run at that location for 74 years by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. The institution first began at another location in 1929 as a home for young girls from single-parent households. No demolition is planned for the Little Flower site - nor any new construction.

A massive housing project along Pasadena Avenue is moving forward after an appeal against the development was rejected by planning commissioners after hours of often heated public comments and testimony, The Eastsider said. The L.A. Planning Commission voted 5-1 against the appeal on the proposed project at Pasadena Avenue at West Avenue 34. This allows the development process to continue on the five-story, 514,756 square-foot mixed use building with 468 dwelling units and 16,395 square feet of commercial space. Despite the large amount of public comment against the project, most of the Planning Commission members said the appeal could be granted only on narrow grounds, which had not been met.

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

— Barry Lank

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