Over two years after an aborted attempt to pursue a commercial development at Mariachi Plaza, Metro's board is set to approve new parameters to guide future construction on the properties, now with input from the surrounding Boyle Heights community.

The process, which was first detailed last month by Streetsblog's Sahra Sulaiman, calls upon prospective bidders to plan a “a mixed-use development with a focus on affordable housing which integrates commercial and retail development on the ground floor, creates usable public open space with enhanced landscape and hardscape elements, provides additional public parking, maintains the presence and viability of the mariachis, and preserves the iconic symbolism of the Plaza.”

The target sites consist of two currently vacant lots at Pennsylvania Avenue and Bailey Street, which could be developed with buildings of up to five stories in height.  Under alternate schemes presented in the development guidelines, the smaller property at the southeast corner of the intersection could either become housing or be left as open space.

Between the two sites, up to 60 dwelling units and 14,000 square feet of active ground-floor uses are possible.  Any proposed development would expected to connect to the larger experience of Mariachi Plaza, which is a longtime community gathering space for the Boyle Heights neighborhood.

The Metro-controlled properties sit across 1st Street from a former CRA-owned lot that has also been targeted for development, with two entities have looked to purchase.

Another Metro-owned site across Boyle Avenue is now giving rise to the Santa Cecilia Apartments, an 80-unit affordable housing complex from McCormack Baron Salazar.

These projects form a small component of a larger effort to incentivize more housing production in Boyle Heights through a new community plan, which would allow new developments to exceed three-story height limitations near transit nodes in exchange for providing subsidized on-site units.