Los Angeles

Caltrans Begins Selling Houses Bought for 710 Freeway Project That Never Happened

The transportation department bought the properties decades ago, intending to use the land for a 710 Freeway extension

What to Know

  • Tenants living in 42 properties have the option of buying the property from Caltrans
  • If they say yes, they may qualify for an affordable price sales program
  • Eleven vacant lots are part of the first phase of sales

Caltrans has started the process of selling hundreds of houses acquired decades ago on land that was meant to be used for the infamous 710 Freeway extension, a freeway project never built.

Caltrans has sent offer letters to tenants living in houses located along the defunct surface route. Tenants living in 42 properties -- mostly single-family homes -- will have the option of buying the property from Caltrans after years of paying rent to the state agency.

Residents of the Caltrans homes along a narrow strip in South Pasadena, Pasadena and El Sereno in Los Angeles, will have 120 days to answer. If they say yes, they will be directed to work with an independent real estate firm contracted by Caltrans to determine whether they qualify for the affordable price sales program or a fair market value purchase, Caltrans officials told the the San Fernando Valley Tribune.

"The schools here are really great," said resident John Dullughan. "It gives people the opportunity to live here that normally couldn't, ordinarily."

To qualify for a reduced price, the resident must not own other property and have an income not more than 150 percent of the median income in Los Angeles County. Other options include a third party, such as a city housing authority, buying the home or apartments and then renting at an affordable rate to the tenant.

Caltrans began in the 1950s and 1960s buying empty lots, houses and apartments along the planned route of the 710 Freeway extension between Pasadena and Alhambra. The project was popular in Alhambra but despised in South Pasadena. Decades of litigation and legislation stalled the 6.2-mile project before construction could begin, leaving transportation officials as landlords for 460 structures.

Eleven vacant lots are part of the first phase of sales. Two of the lots are in the process of being sold to South Pasadena for pocket parks. 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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