Developer plans 41-unit complex in Echo Park

Project located on industrial edge of trendy territory near Silver Lake Reservoir

(Los Angeles City Planning, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
(Los Angeles City Planning, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

A developer has filed an application to build a 41-unit apartment complex in an industrial corner of Echo Park.

The project applicant is Demetri Samaha, a principal at A.J. Khair Construction and Development, a firm based in West Hollywood. A.J. Khair has developed numerous commercial and residential projects throughout L.A., including a 35-unit mixed-use building in Hollywood, a 49-unit complex in Reseda and the five-star La Peer Hotel, in West Hollywood, which opened in 2018. The firm’s current projects include The Harper, a Sunset Boulevard property that is expected to include a hotel, residences and retail.

The Echo Park project site includes four addresses at the corner of West Effie Street and North Allesandro Street, just west of Glendale Boulevard near where the Echo Park district meets Silver Lake. It’s a corner that’s within a trendy residential neighborhood — the site is located about a mile south of the Silver Lake Reservoir — but has until recently has remained relatively industrial: Businesses in the area have for years ranged from the likes of U-Haul rental facility to a plumbing company and motorcycle shop. The proposed apartment project calls for the demolition of an existing residential building and a one-story manufacturing facility.

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The development would cover nearly 44,000 square-feet, according to the application; renderings submitted to the city show a five-story, modern-looking building with a mostly white and gray exterior and steel-gray balconies. The project is also seeking Tier 1 incentives under the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program, which allows for certain building exemptions for projects near public transportation that include affordable units. Plans for the complex include four affordable units.

The application appeared in the City Planning Department’s system last week, although Samaha appears to have completed the paperwork in September. He bought the roughly half-acre site in August for $3.6 million, or about $170 per square foot, the website Traded reported.

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