Plans for a mixed-use affordable housing complex on Metro-owned properties in Boyle Heights have taken a step forward.

A Metro staff report recommends that the agency should enter into an 18-month exclusive negotiating agreement with Abode Communities for the Chavez and Fickett Site, a pair of vacant lots at Cesar E Chavez Avenue and Fickett Street near the Gold Line's Soto Station.  The proposed development would consist of interconnected four-story buildings, featuring 60 apartments - including 59 set aside for households making between 30 and 50 percent of the area median income - as well as a 25,000-square-foot grocery store and a 6,500-square-foot pocket park.

Abode was one of five developers to express interest in the site, including LINC Core, Chelsea Investment Corporation, Skid Row Housing Trust and ELACC.  Abode has already been selected to develop a similar property on an adjacent site known as La Veranda.

The recommendation will be considered by the Metro Board's Planning and Programming Committee, and if approved, will move on to the full board.