By Bill Hendrickson
The proposal to build a large eldercare facility in Eagle Rock has gained the approval of the Los Angeles City Planning department.
The go-ahead from the city effectively clears the way for construction of the facility, to be located on Eagle Rock Boulevard from Yosemite Drive to Fair Park Avenue.
The facility will consist of two buildings, totaling nearly 80,000 square feet, rising five stories to a 62-foot height and covering about two-thirds of an acre. There will be 109 guest rooms (87 for assisted living and 22 for residents needing care for Alzheimer’s/dementia).
Daniel Kianmahd, president of Panorama Group which is developing the project, told the Boulevard Sentinel that the facility could be ready for occupancy in 2024.
Kianmahd also told the Sentinel that the proposal for the facility was approved without any significant changes required by the city. The proposal was vetted during a public hearing at City Planning last summer.
In addition to the rooms for residents, the facility will include a kitchen (individual rooms do not have kitchens) and common areas for dining, exercise, socializing and relaxing. Underground parking for 50 cars is also included. In all, the eldercare facility will be one of the largest developments in Eagle Rock.
In approving the facility, city planning said that the development would further the goals of the Land Use Element of the City’s General Plan and the Northeast Community Plan. “In addition to providing guest rooms for seniors who need either assisted living services or are suffering from Alzheimer’s/Dementia, the project would promote greater choice in the type of housing for that vulnerable and fast-growing group, and would provide varying levels of care to satisfy a range of needs,” city planning wrote in its letter of approval.
The approval included variances allowing the building to reach a size and height roughly double the underlying zoning limits for the property. The City of L.A. lets senior-housing developments override local zoning rules in order to meet the need for housing for senior citizens. City planning noted that more than half of the development is devoted to amenities and common areas.
On the road to gaining approval for the project, Kianmahd was assisted by Stephen Kia, an Eagle Rock resident and owner of the Rock Coffee House, who also works as a consultant for the land-use planning firm Urban Concepts. Kia guided and spoke for Kianmahd’s project throughout the evaluation process on the neighborhood and city level. Locally, the process included presentations before the Land Use and Planning Committee of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council (ERNC) and before the full ERNC, which voted 7-6 to support the project in June of 2020.
Kianmahd said that a next step in the project is to secure construction permits from the L.A. Department of Building and Safety.
Another step, said Kianmahd, is to meet with local schools to lay the groundwork for a plan to connect community youth from elementary school through college with the senior citizens who will live at the eldercare facility. Such connections create a “sense of purpose” for both elders and youth, said Kianmahd. Kia said he will work with Kianmahd to build community for the facility’s residents.
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Bill Hendrickson, MBA, publisher of the Boulevard Sentinel, has extensive small business management, marketing and sales experience in corporate finance and real estate development and plays a not terrible game of golf.