The Arroyo Seco Alliance Tries to Stop Developers and City Planners from Ruining NELA

A rendering if the proposed project.

Written by Dave Travis

Developers are planning on building a seven-story, 100-unit condo complex at Figueroa Street and Pasadena Avenue at the crossroads of Highland Park, Cypress Park, Mount Washington, and Lincoln Heights (by Strawberry’s House from Up in Smoke, and the Heritage Square gold line station).

The “Arroyo” (NELA Plaza) project is constructing a building that is too big for the area; it will be the tallest building in NELA. It will mess up traffic on Figueroa and Pasadena, routes linking NELA, the San Gabriel Valley, and Downtown / Greater Los Angeles. This is the historic route 66, which people use when the 110 is gridlocked. This building, combined with the over 400-unit structure being built a block away, along with “road diets” will all adversely impact transportation for working commuters and vehicles necessary for industry and commerce.

I think it would go over if there would be more parking spaces than units instead of the other way around; most families have more than one car and all these cars will be have to be parked on the street.

Not only will it increase traffic and decrease available parking, but the architecture is unimaginative. It does not blend with the historic architecture of the neighborhood, which includes Victorian, Craftsmen, and Mission style.

Since it would be the biggest building in the area, the architecture should reflect other nearby monumental structures, such as the Southwest Museum, the Lummis Home, and the Case de Adobe. A building with Pueblo-style architecture would be more appreciated in the than one more minimalist brutalist structure imposed on the community by outside developers.

The Arroyo Seco Alliance has collected over 3,000 signatures on petitions against the project at the Figueroa Corridor. According to the Alliance, the project is benefitting from a number of bonuses from the city, and has even been granted 9,633 square foot parcel of land at no charge. The Arroyo developers are seeking an exemption from the required environmental review, but there are concerns it will increase noise, pollution, and endanger the safety of pedestrians. The Alliance would like the developers to address these issues:

We ask that this unit be restricted to 3 stories from the ground up.

We demand better parking for residents and business customers.

We demand 20% affordable housing.

Disclose the actual “affordable housing” rent/purchase price

Disclose estimated unit price, HOA fees and per unit parking.

ADA compliance throughout as per the city standard and request a review.

“And to reiterate, the developer, FDZ Partners, LLC and Naim Associates are requesting a special grant to acquire the public park strip in front of the property. They want to take YOUR park strip so they can build THEIR condos with nothing in return. We say no.”

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