KFA Architecture and Hollywood Community Housing Corp. (HCHC) have completed a new affordable community in East Hollywood, a densely populated neighborhood of Los Angeles. Coronel Apartments is a 54-unit property addressing East Hollywood’s rising need for transit-oriented housing at the neighborhood’s center.
Situated on a narrow, mid-block property that extends between two streets and integrates into its “old Hollywood” environs, Coronel Apartments replaces 22 units of substandard Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) housing. Boasting a Walk Score of 87, the property is located two blocks from the Hollywood/Western Red Line station, and within walking distance of an array of employment opportunities, retail and health services.
Located at 1607 N. Hobart Blvd., Coronel Apartments is a four-story, contemporary building that provides one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. Residences are available to households earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. Rents range from $488 and $1,354 per month.
The units offer private balconies and shared courtyard space. Among the common-area amenities are gathering areas with wood benches and fountains. Underground parking accessible from Hobart Blvd. extends the full length of the parcel.
HCHC and KFA Architecture are completing LEED Platinum certification for the Coronel Apartments.
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A challenge facing KFA Architects was ensuring the development fit well within the context of two very different streetscapes. On one side, Coronel Apartments faces Serrano Avenue, a tree-lined milieu of historic bungalow courts. On the other, the project faces busy Hobart Boulevard., densely lined with mid-century-era apartment buildings.
“The project encountered enormous obstacles throughout its ten-year development history, from neighborhood opposition to undocumented utility dedications to CEQA challenges,” John Arnold, KFA Architecture partner, told Multi-Housing News. “What helped the project overcome all of it, and still maintain its original vision and program, was the current citywide drive to create new housing. This manifested itself in the creativity of the development team to solve design and financial problems, and the unwavering support from the city at the administrative and political level.”
Multiple funding sources
HCHC and KFA Architecture are also teaming on Florence Mills Apartments, a new 74-unit affordable family development in historic South Central Los Angeles. That project is slated for completion in 2020.
Coronel Apartments was funded with two construction loans totaling more than $19 million. Approximately $14 million was funded by Bank of America and some $5 million by HCHC.
“The project was developed by a non-profit housing corporation (with) access to tax credits funds and other public financial support for this 100 percent affordable project,” Arnold told MHN, adding that schedule and construction costs strained the project financially.
“Fortunately, the current pro-housing political environment and available financial incentives for affordable housing allowed the project to overcome these obstacles in a way that a privately-funded, market-rate project may not have been able to achieve.”