Northeast Los Angeles seeing a surge in trendy small-lot developments


An LA Times article published this week focuses on the surge of developers taking advantage of small lot ordinances by building trendy homes and condos in the hot areas of Northeast Los Angeles, particularly Silver Lake and Echo Park. These new builds are smaller, very rectangular, typically three levels, and are targeted toward the younger home buyers who want to live near cafes and other hot spots.

Quoting an LA architect, the article summarizes it well with: “It’s sort of the iPhone or Prius of homes.” It’s hip, it’s cool, it’s what is becoming available in these areas where options limited, from the more expensive traditional craftsman homes of Echo Park and Silver Lake areas to high rises of downtown.

There isn’t a lot of inventory in the area, but there is quite a bit of density already. Developers are building multiple units with small footprints and no yards (and in a lot of cases, no parking) on these small lots, fitting as little as seven units as in one case on Douglas Street in Echo Park, or 70 units slated for the Echo Park/Silver Lake border this year.

Some see these developments as a positive, providing more homes to accommodate the increase in population these neighborhoods are experiencing, and where there's little inventory to buy. Some are worried the lack of single family homes being built will forever change the hillsides and overall landscape of the neighborhood.

In the next year and a half, according to the article, there will be 250 small-lot homes in Northeast Los Angeles (a lot of those in Silver Lake and Echo Park) that may go for between $500,000 and $800,000 each.

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