LOS ANGELES — The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Nov. 21 in favor of a construction project that will see a five-story, 88-unit condominium project built in the View Park/Windsor Hills area.
The plan was proposed by the Bedford Group, a Los Angeles firm that specializes in urban infill development.
The View on Overhill will include a resort-styled pool, resident clubhouse, jacuzzi and fitness center. Condominiums would be built with one, two or three bedrooms that would sale for between $400,000 and $600,000.
County planners said the hillside project fits a need for denser housing in unincorporated areas to accommodate older residents, young individuals living alone and others looking for more affordable housing.
But many residents said the project doesn’t fit the historical neighborhood of single-family homes.
Starlett Quarles, the director of Bedford’s Marketing and Communications Department, said The View on Overhill will provide a “luxurious condominium community that caters to young professionals.”
Quarles said the Bedford Group’s initial focus was on the development of affordable housing units throughout South Los Angeles for low-income families and seniors.
“However, over the past 15 years, we have been focusing on developing homeownership opportunities for the next generation, primarily in the Baldwin Hills, View Park and Windsor Hills communities,” Quarles said.
Their first project in the area were the Terra Nova Townhomes, 55 townhome units on Don Lorenzo Drive, off of Stocker Street. With that project, the Bedford Group discovered that there was a high demand for new homeownership opportunities for young professional couples and singles in the area, Quarles said. The new townhomes were being purchased by single, professional black women.
“So we instantly understood that there was a need to build homeownership opportunities for young professionals who grew up in the area and wanted to return to it, but couldn’t afford a single-family home,” Quarles states.
Bedford went on with its second project in the Baldwin Hills area, the Bedford Parc and Bedford Promenade condominiums, which totaled 172 one-, two- and three-bedroom residences.
Quarles said opposition to The View on Overhill, which is located at La Brea Avenue and Overhill Drive, came from people fearful of change. She said charges that the Bedford Group was trying to gentrify the communities are false because gentrification occurs when residents are displaced. The lot at Overhill and La Brea is vacant so no one is being displace, she said.
“We are transforming a vacant, blighted lot into an opportunity for individuals to create long-term wealth through the purchase of real estate,” she said.
Residents who opposed the project consist of an older demographic who have been living in the area for 20 to 30 years who she says are not in support of the creation of new home ownership opportunities for the next generation. They prefer a neighborhood consisting of single-family homes.
Damon Wilson of Baldwin Hills earlier this month said “The biggest issue for me would be view obstruction and access to natural light because that affects property value, but overall, if none of the above issues can be resolved with changes made to the condos, then the residents who’ll be affected need to be heavily compensated.”
Thomas Mitchell, a View Park resident who has lived in the area all his life, is against the project because, “it would cause too much traffic, block the view and throw off the eco system for the animals.”
Mitchell says he enjoys running through the neighborhood in the morning, inhaling fresh air and looking at the views.
“All of this is important to me, and I do not want the friendly neighborhood vibe to be thrown off by the condos,” Mitchell said.
Quarles said the Bedford Group hopes to start construction by next fall 2018.