Calendar for Metro Outreach on Boyle Heights Projects and a Correction About Tonight’s Meeting

Earlier this week, we mistakenly posted that Primestor, the developer looking to overhaul the space around Mariachi Plaza, would be presenting at the Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUC) meeting of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council tonight.

Instead, tonight’s meeting (see agenda) will focus on Abode Communities’ affordable housing plans for the site at Cesar Chavez/Soto. The Joint Development Agreement between Metro and Abode would result in 77 family-oriented units (54 2-bedroom/1-bath units and 23 3-bedroom/2-bath units) and 8000 sq. ft. of commercial space divvied up between two four-story buildings that will be connected by a skybridge. Another Metro-owned parcel across the street (in light yellow, at right) is slated to be the home to a new grocery store. (See more specifics here and here).

Abode's plans for the site at Cesar Chavez and Soto.
Abode’s plans for the site at Cesar Chavez and Soto.

The plans for this project will not be up for review at the meeting tonight, but Metro will be asking for the PLUC to recommend the project move forward with a the first phase of a phased exclusive negotiation agreement (ENA) between Metro and the recommended developer.

Typically, an ENA grants a developer the space to further develop their plans, work out the terms of a Joint Development Agreement (JDA), work out ground leases with Metro, and pull together the appropriate construction documents, free from competition from other developers. A phased or interim ENA of the kind Metro is proposing would allow for the community to have a window into the development of the plans and input on their refinement over a period of approximately three months. At the end of that period, Metro would be able to report back to the Board to seek the full ENA for the site.

The PLUC voted to recommend this approach with the 1st and Soto projects (below), to be built by Bridge Housing Corp. and ELACC, on December 11th (sending it to the larger BHNC for final approval), but rejected allowing the Mariachi Plaza project to move forward.

The two yellow sites south of 1st St. are slated for affordable and senior housing. Source: Metro
The two yellow sites south of 1st St. are slated for affordable and senior housing. Source: Metro

If you’d like to offer feedback on the plans for Mariachi Plaza, you’ll have to wait for the community meeting on January 22. At that meeting, Metro will provide the community with an overview of Joint-Development Agreement process, go over the three projects for which they are seeking ENAs (Mariachi Plaza, 1st/Soto, and 1st/Cesar Chavez), recap their interactions with the neighborhood council, and solicit feedback on what the community would like to see for those sites. While renderings may make it appear that plans are set in stone, they are not. Community feedback — particularly in the case of the now-stalled Mariachi Plaza project — can have an important impact on developments going forward.

I have not received word from Primestor about any additional outreach on the Mariachi Plaza plans, but you are invited to attend the following meetings to make sure your voice is heard on that and other projects by Metro and your neighborhood council:

TONIGHT, Thursday, January 8, 2015, 6:15 p.m.
BHNC, Land Use and Planning Committee – Metro will present the Cesar Chavez/Soto Project
Benjamin Franklin Branch Library
2200 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Metro Community Meeting
— To solicit public comment about Cesar Chavez/Soto, 1st/Soto, and Mariachi Plaza site plans
Puente Learning Center Multipurpose Room
501 S. Boyle Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
BHNC Board of Directors Meeting –
To consider recommendations from the BHNC Planning and Land Use Committee
Boyle Heights City Hall Community Room
2130 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Thursday, February 26, 2015, 9 a.m.
Oral Progress Report to Metro Board of Directors

One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 9 a.m.
Metro Board of Directors –
To ask Board to consider entering into phased ENAs for1st/Soto and Cesar Chavez/Soto sites, if supported by the community
One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Please feel free to contact Vincent Gonzales (to be put on Metro mailing list for these projects) or Jenna Hornstock for any questions. Vincent can be reached at gonzalezv@metro.net or 213.922.1208. Jenna may be reached at hornstockj@metro.net or 213.922.7437.