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Car-free, eco-friendly mixed user coming to Koreatown

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Permanently affordable housing

Plans for new mixed-use developments are so ubiquitous in Los Angeles right now, it can be tough to distinguish one project from another. But here's one project that sets itself apart from the pack: A permanently affordable, environmentally-friendly co-op for people who don't have cars.

Streetsblog LA reports that Los Angeles Eco-Village has announced plans to convert the site of an old auto shop in Koreatown into a mixed use development that promotes, "permanently affordable and ecologically sustainable housing." Further setting itself apart, the Eco-Village has eschewed the typical sleek, computer generated renderings released by most architects and developers, opting instead for a hand drawn, almost cartoonish, representation of the project:

The 11,000-square-foot site at 3554 West First Street will be transformed into a "roughly four story" structure featuring "20 permanently affordable co-housing units and 10 small green retail and commercial co-op spaces." The auto shop will be demolished to make way for housing, while the restaurant building next door, also part of the property, will be preserved.

There are also tentative plans to make use of the old H Line streetcar tracks on the southeast side of the property. LAEV wants to preserve the tracks and convert an old trolley into a vegetarian restaurant.

LAEV has been converting apartment buildings into co-operative communities since the nineties. It owns three other buildings and manages 50 units of permanently affordable housing. The housing units offer atypical amenities such as "bees, chickens, greywater, rooftop solar, traffic-calming, and a culture of getting around by bike, walking, and transit."

The auto shop on First Street is in escrow now, and the sale is expected to be finalized in September. No timeline yet for construction.