Plans are underway to build the latest in a series of mixed-use projects in Boyle Heights, an area that has seen rapid gentrification in recent years.
Hamid Yousefian, on behalf of the Yousefian Family Trust, filed plans to build an 85-unit residential building with over 6,500 square feet of commercial space at 1016-1030 North State Street, according to Los Angeles city records.
The six-story development will rise on a vacant lot adjacent to single-family homes on State Street and Pomeroy Avenue. The proposed development, located near LAC+USC Medical Center, must still be approved by city officials.
Simon Park, a principal at SSPStudio Architecture & Urban Design, is the architect of record and has designed a modern building complete with a rooftop garden.
Even though the project is located in the northern part of Boyle Heights near USC medical offices, proposing any sort of development in the neighborhood can be a complicated affair, since the area is home to one of the city’s most vigilant anti-gentrification groups, Defend Boyle Heights.
The group became active about five years ago when art galleries and coffee shops priced out of the nearby Arts District by steeply rising rents began taking expansive and cheaper spaces in Boyle Heights.
Though overwhelmingly Latino nowadays, the neighborhood long has been home to successive waves of new, often discriminated against immigrants — from Russian Molokans to Eastern European Jews to Japanese to Italians.
Defend Boyle Heights views the entrepreneurs as stalking horses for commercial development that will displace current low-income residents. They’ve responded with disruptive demonstrations and graffiti that ultimately drove a number of galleries and other new businesses out of that neighborhood and adjoining El Sereno.
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents Boyle Heights, has spoken out against some of the more extreme tactics of the anti-gentrification group.
“We all have the right to express our 1st Amendment-protected opinions – that is not in dispute,” Huizar has previously said. “But when that turns into destroying property or violence of any kind, or targeting people solely based on race, that goes against everything Boyle Heights stands for.”
Recently, the city has been working to make sure that mixed-use development in the area incorporates housing for low-income tenants.