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An empty corner at 1st & Boyle is ready for its turn at development

Empty lot at 1st Boyle awaiting development

BOYLE HEIGHTS — The past decade has brought a great deal of change to the intersection of 1st  Street and Boyle Avenue, perhaps the most prominent gateway to Boyle Heights. On the northeast corner, the opening of the Mariachi Plaza Gold Line station in 2009 was followed three years later by the reopening of the restored Boyle Hotel on the northwest corner. Last year, across the street, the tenants moved into the brand new 80-unit Santa Cecilia apartments. Now, city officials have turned attention on developing the empty southeast corner.

The approximately 14,000-square-foot vacant parcel, once home to a coin laundry, has long been eyed for redevelopment. But those efforts were delayed by the recession and then the dissolution of the city’s redevelopment agency.

A new push to fill in that vacant corner, however, has the city negotiating to sell the property to an affordable housing developer. On Wednesday, the City Council is scheduled to vote on a proposal by Councilman Jose Huizar to spend $100,000 to conduct an environmental study on the property in preparation for future development.

“The site has been proposed for a mixed-use development with housing but further environmental studies are needed to determine the feasibility of developing the property for this purpose,” says Huizar’s motion.

The proposal to fund the study comes after the City Council last May approved the start of exclusive negotiations to sell the the property to Azure Development, which is planning to build a five-story, 43-unit affordable housing project  with ground floor commercial space for a cafe and laundromat.

The Eastsider has contacted Azure for an update on the development talks.

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