6500 Sepulveda Bl.


6500 Sepulveda Bl., a 160-unit rental apartment complex, built and managed by IMT Residential, is nearing completion.

Located about a block north of Victory Bl. it’s right next to the 99 Ranch Market.

This one-acre lot once held the notorious Voyager Motel (1965-2016), a working laboratory of prostitution. It also, incongruously, was where we went to vote.

The Voyager, abandoned and empty, was destroyed in a massive fire on February 13, 2016. Inexplicably, it caught fire just as it became hugely desirable for a large development. “Fire Party”, a post in this blog, captured the gleeful moment it burned.

New construction of the IMT building began in 2017 and computer renderings were stamped out soon after.

There are some joyous and glorious illustrations of the new apartment building, at dusk, illuminated against the violet sky. Eight black blocks are set against a white background with a butterfly angled top. Palm trees are planted to provide shade for mosquitos.

Sepulveda has just been hosed down and glistens. And some eleven people are out strolling along the boulevard, including a woman, across the street, holding a purse stylishly embossed with the word “Paris.” Other pedestrians are walking, jogging, or pushing a baby carriage. A person unfamiliar with this location might think they are viewing an exclusive section of Stockholm, Sweden.

I walked past the near completed apartment yesterday afternoon, and shot some photos of the hot, bright, Sunday afternoon, daylight reality of the surroundings.

In person, you pass numerous homeless men and women who reside all around, setting up sofas and tables to make rooms which can be dismantled and carted around in minutes. The environment is beyond redemption: billboards, overhead power lines, muffler shops, car washes, trash, debris, illegal dumping, speeding cars, massage parlors, Carls Jr., El Pollo Loco, and that ever present sewage smell from the water treatment plant in Balboa Park. 

A few hundred feet to the west is Midvale Estates, with spacious ranch houses, designer kitchens, hot tubs, lush swimming pools, gated properties, guest houses, circular driveways, landscaped herb gardens, and media rooms. This is their village, their Larchmont, their Mayberry. How and why the finest and grossest co-exist, is perhaps a topic for psychiatrists who study the psychology of cognitive dissonance.

Back on Sepulveda, across from 6500 , there are more discarded beer bottles on the median than people on the street. An upturned coffee table with four legs in the air looks like it is ready for a good time. This dried up dump runs alongside many apartments, where owners, managers and residents either don’t care or don’t act to clean up the blight.

All is not gloom.

One cannot deny that the food offerings are many and varied and include an Asian market, several Vietnamese restaurants. And on many nights, taco stands, like streetwalkers, materialize along the street.

Costco, Wendy’s, Sam Woo, Perfect Donuts, Subway, Lido Pizza, and Fatburger are within minutes of waddling distance, or accessible by scooter, Uber or bike. Just across Sepulveda, a chiropractor, a nail salon, laser hair removal, tax preparation, foot massage, hair salon, boba drinks, medical clinic and Fred Loya Insurance ensure that every critical need of life, death, or snack will be answered. And perhaps the best car wash ever, Bellagio, offers free vacuuming for all post-hydrated vehicles.

Estimated rents on the new apartments will start at perhaps $2,500 for the smallest apartment and quickly go up to $3,000 or even $4,000 a month. (I base these numbers on another IMT building in Van Nuys at 14500 Sherman Circle.)

If you are 23 and moving here from Kansas and want to get into production, and you find a PA job that pays $650 a week, your entire monthly gross income, before taxes, could pay for a tiny 1-bedroom apartment.

But things could improve. You might be 40, divorced, with two children, 7 and 11, and work as a nurse at Valley Pres., and earn $75,000 a year. And then you could afford a 1 bedroom apartment for you and your two kids.

7 thoughts on “6500 Sepulveda Bl.

  1. 6500 Sepulveda = an American Khrushchyovka. It houses people. It isn’t terrible. In an upscale neighborhood (in LA or Moscow) they’re desirable because of what they’re near. In a lesser location… Meh. It keeps you warm and dry while you enjoy the view of a dumpster and a freeway exit. Shrug.

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  2. Love your writing Andy. As a rental resident of Studio City, I frequently email my councilman and call 311. We have a flophouse motel near our apartment that attracts a lot of drugs, crime, and transients. Not only have I called and reported them multiple times, I have flyered my neighborhood encouraging all residents (renters and owners) to share the responsibility of protecting our neighborhood by reporting illegal activities. Even though it has been an ongoing battle, I am proud to say that we have done a pretty good job. One quick way of getting the city’s attention on illegal dumping or encampments, is to say that you or your family member has mobility issues, and the encampment/trash/ etc is blocking the sidewalks preventing your daily activities. ADA lawsuits are the last thing a city wants to deal with, so they will come out on the same day to take care of it. I look forward to your next post!

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  3. Well property ownership is one thing…legal status is another. They are wisely acting in recognition of the old Chinese curse (“May the authorities become aware of you”). That said, I think there are very few “all-illegal” households these days……I think most are such that one or two members are, and the rest citizens. Blended families like this are the norm……you don’t find too many guys with Rio Grande sand still in his shoes. The expected (and perhaps intended) consequence of now two generations of de-facto open borders and a gross mis-application of the 14th Amendment. But that’s for another day. LOL

    The Estates residents, I guess have come to accept, resign and adapt. It’s S.O.P. in most 3rd World countries of course, where relative wealth and poverty are not separated even by district (wrong side of the tracks) but often by nothing more than 6 foot concrete block wall fence.

    Let me know when you start seeing shards of broken glass embedded in a layer of concrete at the top of those fences.

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    1. Here in LA we have our ideology first. Then we craft our laws around the ideology to accommodate it.

      Instead of saying, for example, nobody is permitted to pitch a tent to sleep on the sidewalk, we come up with a restriction within 200 feet of a school or near a fire hazard.
      We praise diversity, and walkability, and public transport, and then everyone who can drives their child to another school district with less minorities and higher test scores.
      We say we need to solve homelessness, then we restrict the height of housing to six stories, and mandate multiple parking for each unit.
      We say we want better schools, but we also love our artificially low property taxes especially if we inherited our $10,000 home worth two million and pay tax on the $10,000 only.

      I could go on and on, but why offend with the truth, especially if I am the beneficiary of some of the hypocrisy?

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  4. Well….it’s an improvement on The Voyager I suppose. Tho daily auto trips will increase by a factor of…..2?….3?….4?

    I will bet you anything that horrible median between Sepulveda and the frontage (Little Sepulveda) is a no-man’s land. Department of Sanitation Sector X is EAST of Sepulveda. Sector Y lies WEST of Little Sepulveda. Then again, maybe it’s just 2019 L.A., where unless you have a requisite number of irate property owners calling #333 or whatever it is nothing gets done. Midvale Estates will call ten times a day and follow up with avalanches of e-mails. The residents of those dumpy apartments fronting Little Sepulveda will NEVER call “the authorities”…….for any reason.

    Chuckle of the Day – Directly across from IMT, on Little Sepulveda and Haynes, lies the hilariously-named “Le Rendezvous” Motel. (I can recall a couple instances where I could have really used that place a good many years ago……LOL) A real holdover……appears to be immediately post-War, before Googie and Hawaiian-Tiki themes became the norm. Even laid out in that old-style “motel court” manner. It does appear to be the best maintained property on the block however.

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    1. You’re so right about your observations. The people who live along that mess will NEVER call. Why should they? They probably, for the most part, are not property owners. And the people who are in the estates, what do they care about the condition of Sepulveda?

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