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Feb. 13, 2013

Dana Strand Senior Apartments Wins NAHB’s Gold Award for Best 50+ Affordable Rental Community

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Los Angeles—Dana Strand Senior Apartments has recently won NAHB’s Best of 50+ Housing Awards—Gold Award for Best 50+ Affordable Rental Community. Additionally the United States Green Building Council has bestowed LEED-H Gold certification upon the third phase of the redevelopment of the former public housing site called Dana Strand Village. LEED-H stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes.

Seniors with yearly incomes at or below 30 percent of the Los Angeles County Area Median Income (AMI) are eligible to reside in one of the 100 one-bedroom senior units at the community. Dana Strand Senior Apartments was designed by KTGY Group Inc. to combine eco-friendly, sustainable design with luxury, amenity-laden living at affordable rental rates particularly appealing to seniors.

“This development gives local seniors an affordable way to continue living in their community,” KTGY Group’s Keith Labus, AIA, LEED AP and principal, tells MHN. “The central location keeps residents engaged in neighborhood activity, while the large private courtyard and clubhouse amenities give them a safe, quiet place to call their own. It’s the best of both worlds.”

The Dana Strand Senior Apartment development is the result of collaborative efforts between the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA).

The goal of that collaboration was to develop one of the highest-quality seniors housing communities in the city, says Jonathan Emami, vice president of ROEM Development Corporation, the developer. He reports the development was built on a remaining two-acre parcel within the larger surrounding 20 acres that had previously been the site of very old public housing needing replacement.

“Dana Strand exemplifies the positive impact public and private organizations can have in local communities when they work together to provide quality, affordable housing for [the communities’] senior residents,” Emami says.

The HACLA owned the land and provided project-based Section 8 vouchers, Emami says. The LAHD provided much-needed subordinate financing to the development project. Once those commitments were in place, ROEM, as the selected developer and general contractor, was able to finalize all land entitlements through the City of Los Angeles, and in addition leverage the commitments to secure an allocation of tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits, making the deal financially viable, Emami explains.

It required ROEM less than 24 months to proceed from its selection to the delivery of Dana Strand Senior Apartments and quick 100 percent occupancy.

High-energy efficiency features within Dana Strand Senior Apartments include Energy Star refrigerators, bathroom fans with humidistat controllers, and dishwashers using 6.0 or fewer gallons per cycle. In addition, all lighting is energy efficient, helping reduce electric consumption and save residents money.

“Providing high-quality, affordable housing is central to ROEM’s corporate mission,” Emami says. “With ROEM’s dedicated commitment to true partnerships with local governments, and utilization of environmentally- responsible building techniques, we feel Dana Strand has set new standards for craftsmanship, community and sustainability.”

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