Archived: Wyvernwood Plans In Summary


Steven Fink, vice-president of Fifteen Group, owners of the Wyvernwood Gardens Apartments housing complex in Boyle Heights, told EGP that planning for the redevelopment of the site began more than three years ago and that residents have been involved to some degree since the very beginning.

Initially, residents were asked what changes they would like to see at the facility. Most he said, asked for new amenities like air conditioning, gated and secured parking, in-unit washers and dryers and retail grocery stores and pharmacies.

On Jan 10, 2008, Fifteen Group unveiled its proposed redevelopment plans and, according to Fink, the company has been meeting weekly with residents and stakeholders ever since.

In May of this year, Fifteen Group submitted their application to the City of Los Angeles to begin the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) process, which they hope will be completed within a year. In July, the first scoping meeting, part of the EIR process, was held.

The City must now initiate the  “specific plan” process, which the company says could run simultaneously with the EIR and take two years to complete.

If all goes well, Fink estimates the development could be approved in 18 months to two years.

Wyvernwood Today:

While open space will be preserved, plans for Wyvernwood would make the area unrecognizable. (EGP Photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

While open space will be preserved, plans for Wyvernwood would make the area unrecognizable. (EGP Photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

The facility includes 153 buildings housing 1,187 units, 660 designated as low-income, on 70 acres located just east of Downtown Los Angeles. It is located at 2901 East Olympic Boulevard, at the outskirts of Boyle Heights and near the industrial city of Vernon. Wyvernwood was built in the 1930s to house soldiers and their families during World War II.

—There is a substantial amount of open space considering the complex’s location in a densely populated urban area.
—Population shifts and technology needs have caused some problems at the dated facility, including an insufficient number of parking spaces; outdated infrastructure unable to keep up with current levels of electric, water and gas usage, sometimes causing blackouts; and interruption of telephone and cable service on rainy days.
—The facility was built to accommodate a pedestrian lifestyle, and is crisscrossed by walkways rather than paved streets, making it difficult for police or ambulances to respond quickly to emergency calls. Holes in stairways also pose safety and security issues.
—Some residents’ families have lived in Wyvernwood for generations: many say they are low-income.
—About 10 years ago, lead was removed from the buildings; walls were re-stuccoed, new windows, doors, kitchen cabinets and appliances were installed. Removing lead cost about $14 million, said Linda Kyte, director of Healthy Homes Collaborative.

Plans for Wyvernwood:

Algunos residentes están preocupados que un Wyvernwood nuevo no es para ellos.

Draft of future Wyvernwood complex.

Fifteen Group’s Fink told EGP in late July that the Wyvernwood redevelopment would occur in phases in order to accommodate residents. There is a 20 percent turnover rate among residents, and at some point the company will stop renting empty apartments, said Fink. When a section is scheduled to be demolished, residents will be temporarily relocated to the vacant apartments, he said.

Afterwards, they will be able to choose an apartment in the newly rebuilt section. This process will continue until each section is complete, he said.

—The construction will include an extreme makeover of infrastructure (water, sewage and telecommunication lines, etc.).
—Four streets will be built to allow greater police access, improved traffic flow and possibly bus stops.
—The existing expanse of open space will be broken up into smaller parks between the buildings for residents’ use.
—Approximately 25,000 sq. ft. of the facility will be designated for civic use and 300,000 sq. ft. for retail and offices.
—There will be 4,400 condo units, of which at least 1,200 will be available for rent; 660 will be designated as low-income or senior housing units. According to Fifteen Group, 15 percent of the rental units will meet Los Angeles Department of Housing classifications for low- or very low-income housing. In those cases, income-restricted families of four can rent a two-bedroom apartment in the new Wyvernwood for only $581 per month. In 30 years, vacated stabilized rental units will be returned to market price
—Housing structures will include both a 24-story and 16-story building, but most other buildings will be between 3 to 5 stories in height; many units will have balconies or patios.
—There will be both subterranean and surface parking spaces.

Some believe the development could create more density in the area and possibly more traffic, however a new street grid could provide circulation within the property for residents and through traffic, according to Fifteen Group.

Tell us what you think of the plans by posting a comment.

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  1. Karla Marquez on

    This project would bring a great value to the residents of Boyle Heights. The current Wyvernwood aparments are not a reminder of history but a unsafe, unmaintained place to live in. I don’t understand why community leaders are againts it! Boyle Heights needs shops, restaurants and a major reconstruction. I need to drive to the next town to do my shopping, or have a nice meal what better place than to spend it in my own community! This is a great step towards making Boyle Heights a better place!

  2. i think they should buy another piece land so they add to the land of wyvernwood gardens.instead destroying your land that makes you money and build a land so you have more space put so u can put what you . but you can find empty land or a bussiness that going out bussiness . use the this depresshon in your favor ……but getting rid wyvernwood is not the answer

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