49-unit Linden residential development in East Village takes shape

More housing and commercial space is coming to DTLB as the empty lot at the southwest corner of Fourth and Linden slowly becomes the Linden, a 49-unit, six-story mixed-use residential complex.

Renderings for Studio One Eleven’s design were released early last year while construction, expected to be completed by the end of 2018, began this year. Sares-Regis, the developer leading the specifics, has built the project—much to the happiness of urbanists all around—within walking distance of metro, groceries and shopping.

In a recent discussion surrounding The Streets development just west of this proposed project, Michael Bohn, Principal at Studio One Eleven, noted that they’ve been approaching design through “integrating back” into the community so that “sidewalks [and] streetlights and trees [are the same] as the adjacent neighborhoods.”

This design reflects that: Park[d] Plaza, the public space that used to host tether ball and chairs and still features an Aaron De La Cruz mural as its floor, are reflected in the design. Yellow and gray like the mural, there are also hints of De La Cruz’s geometrical, maze-y lines as details on the outside of the building.

Work continues on The Linden, a 49-unit mixed-use complex in DTLB. Photo by Brian Addison.

Work continues on The Linden, a 49-unit mixed-use complex in DTLB. Photo by Brian Addison.

While it remains uncertain how many (if any) of the units will be affordable, it marks a distinctive shift in the neighborhood that has been slowly taking hold over the past decade.

Lyons Art Supply used to sit at 420 E. Fourth Street and remained the sole business with any sort of activity before Berlin Bistro—Portfolio owner Kerstin Kansteiner’s second operation—and Fingerprints—having historically been located in Belmont Shore for its entire existence up to that point—moved into the space.

Lyons then moved across the street, along with Atlantic Salon, and a handful of other designer, construction, and architectural studios in a shared space that eventually brought heavier foot traffic and crowds to the neighborhood.

Of course, the rapid change is one that doesn’t sit well with everyone: Cries of gentrification, displacement, and a lack of community involvement has led to a sense of disconnection in terms of long-term residents and developers.

Despite a boom in housing development—much needed given the housing crisis—many feel that the development isn’t for them. Add onto this the fact that Class C apartments, home to units which are the often the only ones many can afford, are being snatched up by real estate investment firms, you have factors that lead to a displacement and lack of affordability that falls disproportionately on our most marginalized populations.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.