Metro has given the green light to developers to build an affordable housing complex that would bring 76 units to a vacant lot near the Southeast corner of César Chávez Avenue and Soto Street.

The transportation authority approved Thursday a development agreement allowing Adobe Communities to bring 76 affordable rental apartments and 8,000 square feet of retail space. Metro originally purchased the land in order to extend the Red Line subway to Boyle Heights but the Gold Line was built instead. Now, Metro is looking for a way to use the plot that surrounds the popular King Taco eatery, between Soto and Matthew Streets.

The affordable housing complex, named “La Veranda,” will house families who earn between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income.  Adobe Communities says they included 400 Boyle Heights community members in developing the plan along with reaching out to the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, and the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. The Los Angeles City Planning Commission unanimously approved the project.

Housing development and gentrification fears have been a long-term community concern. The Metro empty lot is across the street from a coffee house that sparked anti-gentrification protests when it opened in June.

The $38.2 million project is expected to begin construction next year with completion aimed for spring 2020.

This post was edited on 12/4 to clarify location and add illustration.

Kyle García is a former web editor with Boyle Heights Beat.

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