This Transit-Oriented developer is eyeing his latest apartment project in Echo Park

Lee Rubinoff has built several apartment complexes — through his firm, Urban Stearns — that have benefited from an LA incentive program meant to encourage affordable construction

Oct.October 03, 2019 10:15 AM
Lee Rubinoff and the development site
Lee Rubinoff and the development site

Developer Lee Rubinoff, whose company has seized on a Los Angeles program that rewards affordable housing projects near transit stations, has teed up another one.

Rubinoff filed plans this week for a 69-unit Transit-Oriented Communities development on an Echo Park hillside.

The development site spans three lots totaling about a third of an acre at 1346-1354 W. Court Street, property records show. Two are vacant and the third has two vacant residential buildings.

Rubinoff is the managing partner at the development firm Urban Stearns, though it’s unclear if the company is directly involved in the project. Rubinoff and Urban Stearns could not be immediately reached for comment. Rubinoff filed for the project through 1350 Court Partner LP.

Urban Stearns has taken on similar projects in the area. In late July, the firm submitted plans for a 60-unit construction about a mile away on Alvarado Street. Rubinoff also filed those plans.

In the latest project, 1350 Court Partner bought the property for $3 million in April from an entity tied to the Chatsworth office of developer Daniel Bernstein and Associates.
The city’s Transit Oriented Communities program provides developers density bonuses and other incentives for reserving units at new developments for low-income renters. The program is popular with developers and has added at least 3,900 affordable units to the city’s pipeline since its adoption two years ago.

A Westside group critical of the program recently sued the city to put a stop to all TOC approvals, claiming implementation of the program exceeds what voters approved via a 2016 ballot measure.

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