And… Metro backed down

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.