Former Funeral Home Gets New Life as Senior Housing

The repurposed chapel will offer much-needed affordable housing to older Los Angeles residents.

The Washington View Apartments are located near Los Angeles’ downtown. Image courtesy of Mike Jones

WPH Holdings has added to Los Angeles’ under-supplied senior housing stock with the opening of Washington View Apartments. The community was developed in partnership with the California-based affordable housing nonprofit Las Palmas Housing.

Bank of Hope provided a $33 million loan for the project’s construction, with the Los Angeles city government lending another $12 million, according to Yardi Matrix data. Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco provided a $1 million grant.

The property was formerly home to the Pierce Brothers Chapel, the first full-service funeral home built in Los Angeles, and an adjoining parking lot and warehouse. The property, which had suffered two fires, was extensively damaged, but WPH Holding’s adaptive reuse process saved and rehabilitated the front of the building, its arcade and the double-height, large chapel. The project also called for rebuilding the historic bell tower and red tile roof, while the stained glass windows were repaired, restored or reconstructed.

Located at 720 W. Washington Blvd., Washington View Apartments offers seniors 122 studio and one- and two-bedroom units. The developer also designated 91 of the units for formerly homeless residents. The community includes space for support services, three recreation rooms and open community space. Residents will have access to case management and adult education classes, as well as other resources.

Responding to LA’s affordable housing demand

Washington View Apartments bolsters WPH Holdings’ portfolio, which mostly includes affordable housing projects in California. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, WPH Holdings is working on a mixed-income, 79-unit project that will offer 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Outside Los Angeles, the developer is developing a pair of Sun Valley, Calif.-based projects. One of those communities is a mixed-use affordable property, while the other is an affordable senior housing community.

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