The hillside infill property is awash in sustainable features. Lotus Garden will feature a rooftop recreation area, which will reduce the property’s footprint on a parcel that is limited in size, and high-efficiency boilers supported by solar water heating. “We provide a lot of solar voltaics on our projects–we’ve been doing it for 10 years–to generate electricity,” James Silverwood, president of Affirmed Housing Group, tells MHN.
Additionally, the developer is breaking new green ground in the Southern California apartment market. Lotus Garden will be the first project in the region to incorporate Harding Steel’s CARMATRIX semi-automated parking system, which will maximize the number of cars that can be accommodated in the property’s four-level parking facility. “The site is a hillside and it’s steep,” he explains. “There will be quite a bit of grading and concrete work, so to reduce costs we’re incorporating CARMATRIX to eliminate an entire level of parking and integrate the structure into the hillside.” The high-tech system allows users to park on platforms that can shift vertically for a stacking effect, as well as horizontally, to allow grade-level access of any particular car.
Lotus will be reserved solely for low-income families with household earnings between 30 percent and 60 percent of the median income in Los Angeles County. Smith Martin Residential Inc. is behind the design of Lotus Garden, which is being developed as a high-quality multifamily community. “We want the building to look and feel as good as any market-rate project,” Silverwood says. It is a goal that Affirmed Housing aims to achieve with all of its properties, and local residents take note. “For us, we have had great community acceptance of our projects, and I think it’s because we can show a wonderful portfolio of properties. Also, there has been a big change in the perception of affordable housing. Fifteen years ago, you could almost count on opposition, but nowadays it has been greatly mitigated. It’s a testament to the quality affordable housing that’s been developed in California over the last 15 years.”
Lotus Garden is on track to reach completion in September 2012.