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Community News: East

BOYLE HEIGHTS : County Completes Property Appraisals

October 09, 1994

The county completed appraisals of most of the properties in the Marengo Terrace neighborhood as part of Phase One of the project to build a new County-USC Medical Center.

The appraisals, conducted by the county's Internal Services Department, included 30 properties on Cummings and Charlotte streets and the west side of Chicago Street. The project will eventually displace more than 200 families and businesses from the neighborhood.

Nancy Manzanares, project administrator for the commission's Housing Development and Preservation unit, will review the appraisals and meet with individual homeowners this week. If property owners dispute the appraisers' findings, they may hire their own county-approved appraisers at county cost.

Although some residents say they hope the negotiations go well, they still hold a distrust of government officials and say they may want to hire an appraiser who may not be on the list of county-approved appraisers.

"I hate to sound so suspicious, but we don't know if people (appraisers) want to stay on the good side of the county," said Amparo Juarez, who has lived in her Cummings Street house for more than 40 years. "We'll see if the amount of money we're going to get, if it's reasonable."

One of the looming questions for homeowners who have rental units on their properties is if they will be compensated for the loss of that income, Juarez said. They were told at a meeting Tuesday that they will receive market value for the rental property.

The neighborhood will be demolished to make way for a $1.1-billion project that will include a hospital replacing all four existing hospitals and two outpatient clinics at County-USC Medical Center. The 2.1-million-square-foot hospital is expected to be completed by 2002.

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