Largest LA Community for the Homeless Opens

This tower is the first phase of a $165 million project.

A joint venture of Chelsea Investment Corp., the Richman Group and Weingart Center Association has officially opened Weingart Tower 1, a 278-unit affordable community in Los Angeles. It represents the largest homeless housing project in Los Angeles’ history.

The building is part of a $165 million, three-tower, 700-unit project, as reported by Newsweek. The second phase is under construction, with phase three currently in the planning and permitting stages.

Located at 555 S. Crocker St. in the Skid Row District, the property is proximate to the Weingart Center for the Homeless, a five-facility block that serves north of 250,000 meals for the homeless annually.

According to Yardi Matrix, construction financing included $79.9 million issued by the City of Los Angeles in 2021. The project was also backed by Pacific Western Bank, California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Housing Program, LIHTC equity syndicated by the Richman Group and Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities.

READ ALSO: Serving the Underserved: An Affordable Housing Provider’s Take

Moreover, the latter awarded the development with funds for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure used to create, repair and upkeep sidewalks, walkways and bikeways. Funds for Transit Related Amenities were also awarded for the installation of street, bus stop and pedestrian lighting, as well as bike repair stations and urban greening.

Joseph Wong Design Associates provided conceptual services upon the development’s inception in 2016. AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design was the architect of record, while Emmerson Construction spearheaded the project’s development. Swinerton Builders and Project Management Advisors were also part of the team.

A glimpse inside the affordable tower

Rising 19 stories atop the site of a former surface parking lot, the tower encompasses studio and one-bedroom floorplans totaling 172,274 square feet. Apart from three manager units, all other apartments are reserved for households earning between 15 and 50 percent of the area median income. Additionally, 40 units are allocated for veterans.

Residents will have access to supportive services such as skill enhancement opportunities, counseling and advocacy services, substance use referrals, as well as education, employment, financial and budgeting assistance. Upward of 14,000 square feet are dedicated to these services across the second and third floors.

Community amenities feature a gym, a computer lab and a library, as well as open spaces encompassing 20,195 square feet, which include gardens and terraces, among others.

The entire three-tower development will use roughly 10,500 square feet of solar voltaic panes at building roof level. Furthermore, the project’s usage of concrete as structural material allows for passive heating and cooling, reducing dependency on mechanical systems. Weingart Tower 1 was nominated for the 2024 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award for its green building practices.

Affordability in Los Angeles

As of June, Greater Los Angeles’ pipeline numbered more than 32,100 units under construction, with upward of 10,500 units in fully affordable projects, according to Yardi Matrix data.

Another affordable project just broke ground this week in Los Angeles. Thomas Safran & Associates is developing The Arlington, an 84-unit development. The project is financed by the California Municipal Finance Authority, California Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Los Angeles Housing Department’s Affordable Housing Managed Pipeline program, federal and state LIHTC and the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

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