L.A. County Welcomes Transit-Adjacent Affordable Community

Baldwin Park celebrates the opening of Metro Village, a mixed-use complex for low-income families.

Metro Village combines contemporary elements that reflect its urban proximity.

Metro Village combines contemporary elements that reflect its urban proximity.

By Sanyu Kyeyune

Baldwin Park, Calif. –Last Thursday the City of Baldwin Park, Calif., and ROEM Corp. rang in the opening of Metro Village, a new mixed-use apartment community tailored to low-income families. Situated on 1.01 acres at the northeast corner of Ramona Boulevard and Maine Avenue, Metro Village accepts families earning 60 percent or less of Los Angeles County’s area median income.

The $27 million, four-story new development features 70 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, 105 parking spaces and 5,500 square feet of commercial space. Residents enjoy a communal entertainment lounge, kitchenette, computer lab, fitness center, laundry room, secured bicycle storage, private patio, playground and barbecue area.

Transit access is a signature feature of Metro Village. A new plaza connects the community to Ramona Boulevard’s retail and transit corridor. To make transit even more accessible, Metro Village furnishes every housing unit with complimentary transit passes.

“Any time we can locate affordable housing next to transit, it’s a win for both transit riders and the greater community,” said ROEM EVP Alex Sanchez in a prepared statement. “Metro Village makes it affordable for families to live in Baldwin Park and get to work anywhere in the greater (Los Angeles) area through the adjacent Metrolink and bus network. As an affordable housing builder, we are proud to have partnered with the City of Baldwin Park and contributed to this critical investment in Baldwin Park’s sustainable housing and transportation infrastructure.”

Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano added, “Metro Village will continue to propel this transformation and soon will serve as an example of what can be accomplished through focused long-term planning and collaboration.”

ROEM has been active in California’s housing market for over 30 years, with more than 3,000 affordable units completed and more than 1,000 units under construction. Last year Affordable Housing Finance profiled ROEM on its Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers list.

Metro Village is ROEM’s second affordable community to hit the California market this year. In August, the full-service construction and development firm unveiled Oak Grove Apartments in Santa Clara, Calif.

Continuing its commitment to sustainability, ROEM sought to minimize Metro Village’s environmental impact. To this end, the firm used water- and energy-efficient appliances and fixtures in the residences. Further reducing the property’s carbon footprint, ROEM employed solar photovoltaic lighting and ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. Currently Metro Village is seeking United States Green Builing Council’s LEED-H Gold certification.

The Department of Housing & Urban Development provided 9 percent low-income housing tax credits, while AEGON, Citi Community Capital and the City of Baldwin Park offered additional financial support. Withee Malcolm Architects LLP and the general contractor, ROEM Builders Inc., oversaw Metro Villlage’s construction.

“As Los Angeles County continues growing its transit system, it’s critical that cities plan for new housing to be located near those transit stations,” said Sanchez. “Many transit riders want easy access to public transportation near the place they call home. With Metro Village, the City of Baldwin Park has ensured they can.”

Image courtesy of A.G. Photography

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