Thursday, June 5, 2014

Follow-Up Meeting Regarding 4027 N Broadway

Photo courtesy of
According to Buena Park Neighbors' latest newsletter, there were enough questions raised at the community meeting about putting up a new residential building at 4027 N Broadway that a follow-up meeting for those living in Buena Park will take place next Monday:

"Around 35 residents attended the presentation from Akara Partners this past Monday to hear about their proposal to build 20 apartment units at 4027 N. Broadway where the Ace Furniture building now stands. 

After the presentation the assembled group discussed the pros and cons of the plans presented and agreed on five issues for consideration and resolution:

  1. There needs to be retail on the first floor
  2. There needs to be a clearer plan for garbage disposal
  3. There is concern about storm water run off since the new building takes up the entire lot
  4. There should be a bike room to store bikes
  5. There needs to be a clearer explanation for how they arrived at the mix of one, two, three and four bedroom units
The stated reason for lack of proposed retail space on the first floor is the number of parking spaces required by the city.  This requirement could be met by reducing the number of units, thereby reducing required parking and opening up space on the first floor. Mike Breheny, Chief Development Officer at Akara Partners, indicated that they are willing to reduce the number of apartments so that there would be room for retail on the first floor.

The proposal also raised concerns from neighbors that adequate space for garbage disposal was not planned. Apparent lack of consideration for where the refuse truck would park to collect dumpsters, where the dumpsters would be kept, and how top floors would access dumpsters raised concerns. Similarly, adequate planning for runoff from the building and bicycle parking and storage were matters of concern for neighbors.

Finally, the group wanted to know how Akara Partners determined the proposed mix of units, particularly the four bedroom units.  Concern was raised that the current demographics of Buena Park would not support such housing.

As mentioned above, BPN talked to Mike Breheny and it has been decided to have a second meeting this coming Monday at the same place and time as the last meeting.

Meeting to discuss the Akara Partners proposal

4101 N. Broadway, 7 pm
Monday, June 9th


  1. How top floors would access dumpsters?

    There's this new fangled invention called stairs. My neighbors in 3 1/2 story buildings manage to navigate their back porches/stairs to bring down their garbage. This isn't likely the type of housing where folks are just going to toss their garbage from the third floor to the ground level.

    What the neighbors should be concerned about is getting a decent looking building built with good management. That stretch of Broadway needs more vacant retail space like I need a larger hat size. As for the current demographics of Uptown supporting 4 bedroom housing it will support it nicely. There's this thing called "roommates" where mostly college and post college young folks live together to save money and for the sense of belonging.

    They're annoying, but one hell of a lot less annoying than the bangers who live at the corner of Broadway and Cuyler.

    "Lord, save Uptown from my neighbors whether in Sheridan Park or Buena Park or any other Uptown "park. Amen."

  2. Just out of curiosty, why does there NEED to be retail there. Is there a shortage? Is that corner really a draw? I would just be careful what the neighbors "demand." A great building that is well designed and brings more people to the neighborhood with sufficent parking seems like a plus.

    My prediction...the building gets built with retail, and then two years from that we are all complaining on here about vandalized windows and vacant retail space. I mean it would be awesome to have a great restaurant there, etc., but just wonder if the demand is there. There is new retail just South, and lots of potential up north.

    I am not an expert, but curious why that is a demand? Any neighbor care to chime in? Is anyone devistated at the loss of the furniture store?

    The other stuff sounds fairly reasonable.

  3. I am in complete agreement with Stash- That is a dead zone for retail space.
    I have never shopped at that store but have walked by it for 6 years and by no means is it ever busy..Build something nice and have the 4 bedroom units and parking and call it a day...

  4. Within just a couple of blocks, SO FAR, we have developers proposing new apartment buildings at the Starbucks building, another at the old Mobil station, and now this. Don't be surprised if more proposals start cropping up. If the expectation is that retail depends only on the existing demographics, including the high proportion of subsidized rentals, then new retail space would be stupid--you can only make a little money with a finite set of shoppers in weave-and-nail salons and gang t-shirt shops. But we're getting to the tipping point where enough good market rate housing units are coming in to create demand for retail serving people who want to shop where they live. And I seem to recall that about a decade ago, a certain stretch of Broadway was a dead zone for retail, populated by a liquor store selling mostly to winos, a porn palace, a trashy grocery store, and a decent tattoo shop. It's now lined with a better grocery store, a bank, a cell phone store, some other good shops, and...Target. And the tattoo shop is in a "new" and great space across the street, adding a new cool bar, and other good stuff is happening there, too.

    You don't get improvements and new shopping and new (stable) residents by sitting on your hands and grumbling. If you want investments by developers who will improve the neighborhood and make it more livable to a wider range of people, you've got to let them make the investments with some reasonable guidance from the neighborhood, then get out of the way. Take a chance by letting them take the chance--they could do some great things, but not if they're guided only by the status quo.