In the days of the Red Cars, the neighborhoods close to downtown LA were bustling centers of life and business. Then came the automobile, freeways, suburbs and malls. Now, in a move away from urban sprawl and long commutes, focus is shifting back to downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods of Northeast LA — NELA.
One of the area’s oldest communities, Glassell Park, is emerging fast. Set on a hillside with awe-inspiring views in every direction, it’s the entrance to NELA. Popular shops, cafes and restaurants are just down the street in Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Atwater Village. (NELA’s 14 neighborhoods also include Arroyo Seco, Garvanza and Mount Washington.)
The 2 and 5 freeways intersect nearby, providing easy access to all of Los Angeles. The world-class museums, fine dining, concert and sports venues of downtown are minutes away, and it’s a short drive to the wonders of the Angeles National Forest.
Our Eastside expert Tracy Do found out just how desirable the neighborhood was becoming when she was named exclusive agent for the newsmaking NELA Union development. She sold the majority of the stylish, intelligently engineered townhomes, priced from $475K to $699K, in under a year.
“From the day we opened our sales office, NELA Union was greeted with enthusiasm, high demand and rapid sales,” Do says. She reports that the owners are loving their new homes and enjoying the Glassell Park neighborhood, where new shops, cafes and markets are opening all the time.
The rebirth of any urban community always comes with a challenge: encourage growth while protecting livability and a diverse, inclusive community. As the new NELA takes shape, it could serve as a prime example for other LA communities entering their own complex cycles of change.