And… Metro backed down

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Per Curbed, Metro backed down on their misguided plan to build generic medical offices in Boyle Heights’ Mariachi Plaza.

However, whereas Curbed is presenting the change of plans as a win for anti-gentrification forces, I think the jury is still very much out.

Given that BH residents have been pretty happy to have affordable housing built in their neighborhood, I expect Metro will come back with a plan that pairs street-level retail with relatively dense housing upstairs.

Anti-gentrification activists are likely to demand that all of the housing be “affordable” (eg limited to residents making 80% or less of area median income as defined by the Census Bureau).

The most profitable plan would likely be to build market-rate housing. Given the proximity to the metro station, it’s likely the city would allow for a radical reduction in parking, which would allow the developer(s) to build a large number of units on a relatively small amount of land.

As with many things, the middle path will probably win-out. Metro will probably work with a developer to build mixed-income housing including both market-rate and affordable units.

That’s not a win for the gentrifiers or the anti-gentrifiers. It’s just a win for the neighborhood and the city, both of which require much more housing.

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