Echo Park Condo, With Down-Payment Assistance, Still Available

Only 1 unit remains in an Echo Park condo complex of 4, completely rehabbed by non-profit organization Enterprise Home Ownership Partners (EHOP), with down-payment assistance from the City of L.A. and the Los Angeles Housing Department up to $90,000 for eligible Buyers. Built in 1915, the quadruplex underwent an extensive condo conversion, replete with lead-abatement and eco-friendly updates, including bamboo flooring, electricity powered by solar panels, a tankless water heater system, and dual-paned windows.

The down-payment assistance program, or soft 2nd loan, is available for first-time home buyers.  Priced at $320,000 for 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, with a monthly HOA fee of $142.  Gated parking is included. For a specific lender contact and additional property information, please contact me at (213) 718-1110.  I represented the sale of 2 of the 4 units.

Opening Ceremony for Rockwood-Colton, Echo Park’s New Eco Green Space

A small crowd of neighbors, civic leaders, park engineers, and children gathered this past Saturday to welcome Echo Park’s latest greenery in the urban landscape: Rockwood-Colton Park, which Eric Garcetti appropriately called a “green necklace in the middle of Los Angeles” during the noon ribbon-cutting ceremony.

With Vista Hermosa Park, the Echo Park Pool, and Unidad/Beverly Union Park close by, it’s more than an appropriate metaphor for the site of a former oil field. Smart irrigation, solar lighting, and a children’s playground now sit atop 3 parcels in HiFi, tiny land compared to the 1,000 acres (now the larger Echo Park community) that Edward L. Doheny purchased in the late 1800s. His original oil field was situated along Glendale Boulevard and Colton Street.

Goodbye oil derricks, hello soil! Eric Garcetti cited the creation of 40 parks in the last 3 years. The Rockwood-Colton Park was created in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks, the EPA’s and City of L.A.’s Brownfields Program, and voter-approved state bonds.

Koning Eizenberg Architecture’s New Adaptive Reuse in Echo Park

The 1968 office building at 2117 W. Temple Street gets a LEED-certified design makeover by awarding-winning Koning Eizenberg, the Santa Monica architectural design firm known for changing the look of Los Angeles landmarks, notably the historic Farmers Market at 3rd/Fairfax and the Standard Hotel in Downtown L.A.

The former commercial office building now functions as Children’s Institute Inc.’s new Otis Booth Campus, a 48,000 square foot all-inclusive facility for “clinical treatment, early childhood education, child enrichment, and family support” for neglected, abused, and at-risk children and families.  The campus opened its doors this past Saturday to civic leaders, Echo Park, and the greater community.

Children’s Institute, historically known as The Big Sister League, contributes that the new site will be an “open, child and family-centered environment that provides family enrichment and support.”  The commercial office building was purchased in April 2006 by the non-profit organization for $3.7M, with State of California bonds and a detailed project plan.

Locals may remember the red brick structure with M.A.B. stenciled on its corner.  What lies behind the Koning Eizenberg eggshell façade and orange-awning exterior? Classrooms, libraries, youth and nutrition centers, garden space, and therapy rooms.

ModOp Design Transforms Echo Park Home

The Echo Park urban landscape, courtesy of Greg Steinberg and Alexandra Becket of ModOp Design, welcomes a new addition tomorrow: 2220 Reservoir Street.  After several home restorations in Silver Lake and Highland Park, the married duo took on a project in Echo Park, a neglected, stuccoed 1922 duplex north of Sunset Blvd. and west of Alvarado.

I was among the lucky few who, since January, visited the home and witnessed its reconfiguration and beautification.  Both buildings were heavily de-stuccoed to reveal wood siding underneath.  The Echo Park Historical Society (a member myself), avid promoter of “Say NO to Stucco,” would be proud.  Parquet and laminate flooring have been replaced with dark oak hardwood planks, while a large butcher block island completes an entertainer’s kitchen.

The duplex is within walking distance to City Sip, the much-anticipated Mohawk Bend (Echo Park’s first gastropub), American Apparel, and the neighborhood VONS.  As a longtime resident of Echo Park, the home renovation supports a burgeoning interest in character homes and an increased desire to live in the Eastside.

Before & After.  2+2 front house.

Before & After.  Studio apartment.

List price: $749,000.

For more information or showing availability, feel free to call me at (213) 718.1110.

Keller Williams Los Feliz has the listing.  Rob Kallick & Matt Morgus represent the Seller.

Gangs in Echo Park? A Compendium to the New Pocket Park

I may well be the female companion to the Geico Caveman.  There’s a Rockwood gang Echo Park-adjacent? And, better yet, they have their own MySpace page?!

A work function kept me away from the recent Community Meeting, notice given from the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks via fliers on Echo Park doors 24 hours before the 4/20 (yes, I know) 5:30 pm event.  I only drove by to see a group of local denizens as they fulfilled their civic duties.  A pleasant conversation with Melinda Gejer the following day educated me on these matters:

  • The top 3 (of 10 proposed) names for the pocket community park is as follows:

1.  Rockwood Park

2.  Bienvenidos Mabuhay Park

3.  Colton Park

  • Option no. 1.  City officials, especially local police, are leery of Rockwood Park as a name, as it belongs to a local gang.  The gang may demarcate/reclaim the park as their own, while rival gangs would have graffiti fun with the signage.   The kind folks at the Bureau of Engineering would work repeatedly if it got tagged.
  • Option no. 2. “Welcome” in both Spanish and Tagalog, is supported by the local neighborhood council.  I’m taking a wild guess that a rep from the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council was in attendance. The translated “Welcome Welcome” Park, does not resonate with me, but the joint Hispanic-HiFi reference does.
  • Option no. 3.  A neighboring street bears the name Colton, so it is neither gang-related nor a non-double negative.

Feedback from local citizens and those on an interested parties list are appreciated.  Ultimately, the park’s namesake is in the hands of the Board of Commissioners.  A name will be be bestowed on the Echo Park pocket park sometime in June.

If you’re interested in being on that list, or have recommendations, send me a note at .