Ξ April 20th, 2008 | → 52 Comments | ∇ 90042, Highland Park |
It’s been a busy weekend for the Yorkblvd duo. The save our taco trucks campaign is a hit and has taken on a life of its own. Still, we’ve found time for the important things: A few beers at the York, a burrito at La Estrella on York (which I’ve decided is significantly better than the stand on Figueroa), and Chilaquiles at Antigua (the only thing I may love about that place more than the beautiful and friendly employees). It was at the latter where I ran across a poster advertising something called the “Highland Park Transit Village”. The developers, McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS), are proposing to build condominiums, townhouses, and commercial space that could house a satellite branch of East Los Angeles City College on the public parking lots between Figueroa and the Gold Line between Avenues 56 & 59. (See the proposal on page 6 of this pdf)
Fortunately, I was able to meet Antonio Bermudez, a project manager for MBS, at Antigua and chat with him a little about the project. Mr. Bermudez seemed genuinely excited by Highland Park’s potential. He promised a certain amount of affordable housing, a continued presence managing the property to avoid some of the pitfalls of affordable housing, and underground public parking. Obvious benefits could include a renaissance in the somewhat blighted “Paseo Figueroa” district, increased property value, and increased investment in the community. Still, there is valid community tension here. Rumors are spreading that the development will be 4 stories tall (twice as tall as any nearby building save the Highland Theatre), not fit into the architectural aesthetic of Highland Park, and that increased density could exacerbate crime, making it more difficult for police to patrol. We’ve sent an email requesting an email Q&A with Mr. Bermudez but if you want more personal answers, MBS will be hosting a community forum on the development Wednesday, April 30th at the Ebell Club (131 S. Ave 57 90042) at 6:00 PM. Neither of us may be able to attend because of work commitments but if someone wanted to let us know how it goes, we’d love a first hand report.