A Metro committee decided on Wednesday to move forward with two development projects on land owned by the transit agency that would bring new affordable housing units and retail spaces to Boyle Heights, including a much-needed grocery store on East César Chávez Avenue.

Once the full Metro board gives its approval to the projects, the agency will enter into negotiation with the projects’ two developers, the East LA Community Corporation (ELACC) and Abode Communities.

ELACC will develop a 60-unit apartment complex that will include a 6,340 square feet of retail space in a lot behind Mariachi Plaza where a previously-proposed medical office building garnered wide community opposition.  Curbed LA reported that several Boyle Heights residents attended the Metro planning committee’s to voice their support for ELACC’s development, which will also include a Mariachi cultural center, and a community garden.

The ELACC project is to be named the Lucha Reyes Apartments, in honor of the Mexican ranchera singer memorialized with a statue in Mariachi Plaza. The affordable housing complex would set aside 28 units for low-income families and 30 units for low-income 18-to-24 year-olds. Two apartments would be reserved for management and maintenance.

The second project, also a 60-unit apartment building at César Chávez and Fickett Street, and developer Abode Communities will reserve 59 of those homes for low-income families. It would include 25,000-square foot of retail space for a grocery store and space reserved for a park.

Some residents wanted a grocery store and park included in the Mariachi Plaza complex, but Metro found that to be unfeasible there. Developers for both projects will now conduct community outreach and continue working on their designs before coming back to the Metro Board for approval, which is expected to happen sometime in 2019.

Photo above: rendering of the Lucha Reyes Apartments development at Mariachi Plaza provided by Metro.

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