Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gold Line Adjacent Affordable Housing in Boyle Heights

Lorena Plaza, Image from A Community of Friends

Are you a low income individual who has always wanted to live next to a giant cemetery?  If so, A Community of Friends has a project in the works that will be right up your alley.  Lorena Plaza is a 49-unit affordable housing development, pegged to replace a vacant, Metro-owned parcel at the northeast corner of 1st and Lorena Streets.  The five-story edifice would rise across from the 136 year old Evergreen Cemetary, which contains over 300,000 headstones and a lot of not-evergreen grass.  Located just a short walk from the Eastside Gold Line's Indiana Station, Lorena Plaza would feature 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.  The $23 million project has received a lukewarm reception from the surrounding neighborhood due to a stipulation that half of its units be reserved for mentally ill and formerly homeless individuals.  Nearby business owners and residents told the Metro Board in March 2013 that "the mentally ill would not make good neighbors."  Casting those concerns aside, the Metro Board voted 10-1 to negotiate with A Community of Friends on the project.  Lorena Plaza is scheduled for completion in March 2016.  Perhaps the rest of the Eastside Gold Line stations will also spawn mixed-use TODs by then (get your act together, Mariachi Plaza!).

1 comment:

  1. Metro has given Community of Friends exclusive rights on this property and other in Boyle Heights, and also ELA Community Corporation to built what ever they want. Yet the community is left without economic growth industry, we need walgreens, groceries stores, companies with job growth, we do not need any more moma and papa stores, we have sufficient, and we do not need any more rehab homes for mentally and homeless, we have more than our share, all this because this type of housing are not allowed in the valley or more afluent communities, they dump of Boyle Heights, because we do not have strong representative that will fight for the community.