Biggest Transit Project in L.A. History Still on Hold for NoHo, but Financing Prospects Have Improved

Announced in 2007, the $1 billion development is still in the works for the North Hollywood Metro area.

Though the city’s largest transit project in history was approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in September 2007, economic conditions temporarily ground progress on the NoHo Art Wave to a halt. A Metro official says prospects for restarting the planned development are good now that lenders are opening their coffers again.

Planners are “on the cusp of getting it going,” said Roger Moliere, Chief of Real property Management and Development for Metro.

It stopped moving forward when the financial market froze up. “Every project in the country was unable to borrow,” Moliere said. Though the real estate market had bottomed out, it is on the upswing, he said.

The NoHo Art Wave was designed for construction at Lankershim Boulevard and Chandler Boulevard near Metro’s North Hollywood Station, with an aim of attracting more riders to the Orange line bus and Red line train. Such projects are planned so that people can live, work and shop in one locale, and use public transit to get to their other destinations, Moliere said.

The $1 billion development is slated to feature 562 housing units, three office towers, 1.72 million square feet of retail, a new YMCA community building and 6,200 parking spaces over 15.5 acres.

The property includes a historic train depot that may be reconstructed as part of the project, potentially as a Metro Customer Service Area, Moliere said.

The development contract was awarded by Metro to Lowe Enterprises, based in Brentwood. Under the agreement, the developer get the financing and builds and operates on a lease with Metro, Moliere said.

A timeline for the project has not been announced. “We do not have an update on that project at this time,” said Jann Diehl, Vice President for Lowe Enterprises.

The scope of NoHo Art Wave is substantially broader than the city’s most expensive Metro development to date, which is the $500 million Hollywood and Vine station, Moliere said.

While the land is in the city’s redevelopment area, it is owned by Metro, redevelopment officials confirmed. North Hollywood’s redevelopment, the NoHo Commons, started in 2004. It includes residential properties at the Gallery at NoHo Commons, and commercial and residential space at the Lofts at NoHo.

The most recent additions to NoHo's redevelopment projects include the reopening of the historic in April and the 7-screen , which broke ground May 10, according to Margarita De Escontrias, Regional Administrator for the East Valley and West Valley Regional Areas. 

Though NoHo Art Wave is owned by Metro and NoHo Commons was financed in part with the city’s redevelopment funds, spokespeople for both projects expressed similar goals: to bring about a renaissance in the , to revitalize what were previously blighted areas, and to create an attractive, transit-oriented community.

Cathy Flynn May 22, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Do you happen to know if the existing YMCA on Tujunga will close when the new one opens? It's a very old and tired building, but there are a lot of loyal members. It's surprising that they plan a big, new YMCA when NoHo's just about to open a brand new LA Fitness at the old How's Market.
Evan Atkinson May 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM
It will actually be a new 24HR Fitness supersport gym Cathy. Though I know it will be great, I know everyone wishes North Hollywood had another supermarket serving us at this central location.
LABornAndRaised May 23, 2011 at 05:39 AM
It would feel more promising if the developer said more than "no comment/update" on the project. Didn't Lowe enterprises lose a major property recently in Universal City due to financial troubles? I hope the developer is as optimistic as Metro is on the project. I'd love to see this come to fruition within this decade.
J. Ryan May 23, 2011 at 04:33 PM
I'd also like to see how they would plan to implement the Orange Line busway around the development. It looks they plan to push the loading and unloading zone to the west edge of the property. So I wonder how that would even be done, and with the buses then required to cross Lankershim how would affect traffic in the area (or Orange Line travel times).
Mickie Shaw May 25, 2011 at 06:25 AM
THis plan will send rental property prices sky high. The current "new" rental apartments are expensive and sit unrented. If rental prices go up the little theaters will not survive. The No Ho Arts District will be nothing but expensive apartments, retail stores and pot shops.


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