Florida-based Fifteen Group recently released the long-awaited draft environmental impact report for the redevelopment of the Wyvernwood Garden Apartments Boyle Heights. The LA Conservancy and area City Councilmember Jose Huizar have both come out against the project in the past since it'll take down more than 1,000 Depression-era apartments. The DEIR proposes a $2 billion redevelopment that, when completed, will include 4,400 residential units, including 1,200 rental units and up to 3,200 condo units.
According to the Fifteen Group press release, the project will also include: "300,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and commercial space, 25,000 square feet of civic space, and 10.5 acres of publicly accessible, privately maintained community parks. More than 26 additional acres will be devoted to courtyards, paseos and other open space, including an extensive network of landscaped pathways for bicycles and pedestrians." The project designates 15 percent of all units as affordable housing for the next 30 years. Some units would also include a rent-to-own option.
The 69 acre development, located between Eighth Street, Grande Vista, Olympic Blvd., and Soto Street, currently has 1,187 rental units in 153 buildings scattered across seventy acres. Dedicated in 1939, the project's age means that the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (i.e., rent control) is in effect for tenants. The developer's plan for current tenants has been of particular concern to area stakeholders. The DEIR includes a Resident Retention Plan that offers a guarantee to current tenants that they will not pay more in rent for a comparable unit in the redeveloped Wyvernwood than they would have paid for their current apartment.
Huizar has been the most public voice of opposition to the redevelopment, along with some of the current tenants and historic preservationists. He told Curbed today: "My office is currently studying the EIR and l Iook forward to an open and public discussion on it in the near future."
The project has support from local leaders such as Monsignor John Moretta of Resurrection Church, Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries, Father Richard Estrada of Our Lady Queen of Angels Church and Jovenes, Inc., and Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor Maria Elena Durazo. And you know that the developers are optimistic. Steven Fink, principal of Fifteen Group, told EGP News: "We are thrilled and excited to be moving forward with the project. The release of the Draft EIR marks the milestone toward improving the quality of life for the people of Boyle Heights."
Public comment on the DEIR are open until December 19.
· Wyvernwood Project Environmental Study Released [EGP News]
· Ixnay On Wyvernwood, Says Boyle Heights City Councilman [Curbed LA]
· Wyvernwood Project DEIR [City Planning]