First Joint-Use Housing/School Development in L.A. Completes Entitlement Process

3 min read

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorLos Angeles—Abode Communities, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has completed construction documents for Glassell Park, a new joint-use community that will co-locate housing and an LAUSD school on the same site, the first development of its kind in Los Angeles.“This program was thought of as an…

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorLos Angeles—Abode Communities, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has completed construction documents for Glassell Park, a new joint-use community that will co-locate housing and an LAUSD school on the same site, the first development of its kind in Los Angeles.“This program was thought of as an opportunity to utilize surplus land to produce housing, if possible for the workforce,” explains Robin Hughes, president and CEO of Abode Communities. “It’s an initiative that allows the school district to support affordable housing and workforce housing for district employees.”Hughes tells MHN that the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing worked with the school district, studying several surplus properties to determine where there would be an opportunity to support the construction of affordable housing. They discovered Gassell Park, with its underutilized surface parking, located directly across from Glassell Park Elementary School.“To make things less complicated with respect to project construction, financing and the review process by regulatory agencies, the best course was to relate the two components of the project, but keep them separate,” explains Ali Barar, principal, Gonzalez Goodale Architects, the architect-of-record for Glassell Park.Financing for the $27 million residential portion, including the parking garage, will be provided through a private bank loan, the Los Angeles Housing Department, the California Department of Housing and Community Development and Low Income Housing Tax Credits that Hughes hopes will attract private equity. In addition, explains Hughes, the school district is receiving funding for its joint-use measure.The project will include 50 units of affordable housing, a 13,300-square-foot early education center with seven classrooms, a 10,000-square-foot outdoor classroom and two levels of subterranean parking. One level of the garage will provide 59 parking spaces for staff and one level will provide 60 parking spaces for residents. Uniting the two components is a 1,200-square-foot community room built on the residential portion of the property. It will be available to teachers and staff during school hours and to residents for after-school and evening activities.“In the site planning of the overall project, the community room was carefully placed to straddle both courtyards (for the multifamily housing the early education center), giving direct access for teachers,” notes Barar.Separated by a courtyard, the four-story residential portion of the development will feature two- and three-bedroom housing units, ranging in size from 850 square feet to 1,050 square feet. Housing is reserved for residents earning up to 60 percent of the area median income. Based on current 2009 rent limits provided by HUD, monthly rents will range from $469 to $1,156.Both the housing and early education center are designed to satisfy a host of environmental concerns, notes Barar. The housing component is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, is expected to surpass California’s energy-efficient standards by 15 percent, and will include a photovoltaic system, compact fluorescent lights, low-E windows, Energy Star appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, low-VOC paints and drought-tolerant landscaping.At the same time, the LAUSD is using CHPS  (Collaborative of High-Performance Schools) as its standard for the early education center.The development is scheduled to break ground in February, with the entire project expected to be complete within 16 to 18 months

You May Also Like

The latest multifamily news, delivered every morning.

Most Recent