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Hollywood Whole Foods Turned Swapmeet: Now Affordable Housing

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More changes for the area around Hollywood and Western, and some good news for neighbors: The long-vacant lot at 5555 Hollywood Boulevard (at Garfield), once the site of Bond Companies’ never-realized condo and Whole Foods project, and the current site of a weekend DIY sidewalk flea market, is in escrow. Los Angeles-based affordable housing developer MetaHousing is in contract to purchase the lot, and is planning 120 units of affordable senior housing over 6,000 square feet of retail. "We are very excited," Tim Soule, project manager at MetaHousing, tells us. "The community seems very excited."

The $48 million, four-story project is funded in part by Prop 1C funds, while Community Redevelopment Agency has committed $4.68 million, according to Soule. While there's still a budget gap, Soule says he's hoping for a November 2010 ground-breaking. Meanwhile, last we heard of Bond Companies--which owns the land in partnership with Goldman Sachs--was when their Chinatown Blossom Plaza project went under. As far as future projects, Larry Bond, chairman of the company, says he's just waiting out the economy. Asked why they were selling the land, Bond referenced the credit markets and the lack of financing. "This isn’t the time to be developing condos properties." Sure enuf. But this does prove the point that the only things--as Hollywood CRA execs told us a few months ago--that are being developed are offices, hotels, and affordable housing.
· Empty Hollywood Lot Remains A Sunday Swapmeet [Curbed LA]