Scaled back plans for a new residential-retail complex in Echo Park have survived an appeal to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

In mid-2021, Champion Real Estate Company submitted an application to the Planning Department seeking entitlements for a new 136-unit development at 1483-1503 Sunset Boulevard. The project had relied on  Transit Oriented Communities incentives for its entitlement strategy, the use of which would require he developer to aside 15 of the proposed apartments as affordable housing at the extremely low-income level.

View of Sunset & McDuff looking northwest from Sunset BoulevardAC Martin

That plan was upended lot long afterward, when Champion withdrew plans to convert an unbuilt segment of McDuff Street which cuts through the site into a private driveway - thus reducing the buildable density of the site. As a result, the project is now moving forward as a smaller six-story structure which would feature 104 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments atop 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 101 parking stalls on two subterranean levels. As with the earlier iteration, Champion is relying on TOC incentives to permit the construction of the building - albeit with just 11 affordable units on account of the smaller overall building.

AC Martin is designing the apartment complex, named Sunset & McDuff, which would face Sunset Boulevard with a facade of ribbed metal panels. The project would include outdoor amenity spaces at its podium and fifth floor levels, including a central courtyard with a swimming pool and a rooftop deck.

According to an environmental report, construction of the project is expected to occur over 23 months, although a precise timeline for the build-out period is not specified.

Location of Sunset & McDuff developmentGoogle Maps

The project's hearing before the Commission came as a result of an appeal submitted by SAFER, an affiliate of Laborers International Union of North America Local 270 (LIUNA), which argued that the project should not have been granted entitlements, and should be subjected to further scrutiny under the California Environmental Quality Act. A staff response, citing a lack of evidence in the appeal, recommended denial.

The apartment complex is the latest in a series of new developments planned for the low-slung stretch of Sunset Boulevard that winds its way through the Echo Park community, joining similar mixed-use and multifamily projects from Holland Partner Group, Cypress Equity Investments, and Aragon Properties Corp.

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