Are you a low income individual who has always wanted to live next to a giant cemetery? If so, A Community of Friends has a project in the works that will be right up your alley. Lorena Plaza is a 49-unit affordable housing development, pegged to replace a vacant, Metro-owned parcel at the northeast corner of 1st and Lorena Streets. The five-story edifice would rise across from the 136 year old Evergreen Cemetary, which contains over 300,000 headstones and a lot of not-evergreen grass. Located just a short walk from the Eastside Gold Line's Indiana Station, Lorena Plaza would feature 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. The $23 million project has received a lukewarm reception from the surrounding neighborhood due to a stipulation that half of its units be reserved for mentally ill and formerly homeless individuals. Nearby business owners and residents told the Metro Board in March 2013 that "the mentally ill would not make good neighbors." Casting those concerns aside, the Metro Board voted 10-1 to negotiate with A Community of Friends on the project. Lorena Plaza is scheduled for completion in March 2016. Perhaps the rest of the Eastside Gold Line stations will also spawn mixed-use TODs by then (get your act together, Mariachi Plaza!).
- Lorenza Plaza (A Community of Friends)
- Boyle Heights Development Planned Along Gold Line Clears a Hurdle (Los Angeles Times)