Maybe my favorite example of insane city land-use

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Want to see insane city land-use in action?

Here’s a city-owned ~170,000 sq ft lamp-post storage yard:

lamp-post-storage

Note its location, 1.5 blocks from a major Red Line stop and three blocks from Sunset Junction, the coolest part of Silver Lake:

revised-location

[Map revised with help from PM – thanks!]

At 170,000 sq ft, if this property were re-zoned R4, you could build 170,000 / 400 = 425 units.

Add a 35% density bonus for including affordable housing, and you could build 573, all right near transit in a highly walkable neighborhood.

To a private, for profit developer, I bet the land is worth $20-40MM, easily. The city could use part of that money to buy a big industrial parcel in a much less desirable area and have PLENTY of money left over to fund, say, more affordable units elsewhere.

Or, it could do something really innovative and structure the sale so that ALL the units built need to be affordable. With the proper incentives (density bonus / property tax abatement / etc.) the city could get a developer to pay real money for the land (which would go to buying leasing replacement space for storage) and build a 100% affordable building.

Voila… lots of affordable units at no cost to the city.

Would 500-600 units solve our housing affordability problem? No.

But they would do a hell of a lot more good than our current, transit-proximate storage facility for idle lamp-posts.

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