A development now taking shape on Metro-owned property near the L.A. River could drop retail space in favor of more affordable housing.

Last month, the Metro Board's Planning and Programming Committee signed off on a request for McCormack Baron Salazar to amend its agreement for a joint development at the Taylor Yard, a former Southern Pacific Railroad maintenance and storage facility in Glassell Park.  In lieu of developing 16,690 square feet of retail space at the southernmost corner of the Taylor Yard site, McCormack Baron Salazar now plans to construct 56 units of affordable housing.

Though the site has been entitled for retail development since 2014, Metro staff cited a lack of interest from prospective tenants as a reason for the shift in strategy.  No exact cause was identified, though a staff report to the committee noted that this particular site lacks visibility from San Fernando Road.

In approving the change from retail to housing, the committee also voted in favor of extending McCormack Baron Salazar's ground lease from to April 1, 2022 - and potentially as late as April 1, 2024 if necessary.

To date, a total of 263 affordable housing units – including 108 senior apartments – have been built at the Taylor Yard site, as well as 95 for-sale condominiums and 8,290 square feet of retail space.  An additional 42 units of affordable housing are planned elsewhere on the property.

The Taylor Yard development abuts the Rio De Los Angeles State Park, as well as a vacant 42-acre site that also slated to become green space through the L.A. River restoration.  The park space and the neighboring housing development could eventually be served by a new station on Metrolink's Antelope Valley and Ventura County Lines - Metro is currently studying an infill station at Taylor Yard amongst several options for improving rail service between Burbank, Glendale, and Union Station.