A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning for a joint development project at the B (Red) Line’s Vermont/Santa Monica Station. Watch video of the event here.
The development is being built by LTSC Community Development Corporation. The development will include two six-story buildings with 187 apartments – 2 units for the building managers and 185 units for low-income households.
Space on the ground floor will include a federally-qualified health center, community rooms, social services offices, and commercial space that will prioritize local legacy businesses as potential tenants.
The project is LEED certified, meaning it meets certain environmentally sustainable requirements. Infill Infrastructure, Transit Oriented Development, and Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grants from the State of California will also fund transit upgrades, including: new electric DASH buses, new bus shelters, new sidewalks and crosswalks and bike infrastructure. The total project cost is $115 million and includes additional funding from local and federal affordable housing sources.
The plaza area at the station — which first opened in 1999 — will also get upgrades with more landscaping, seating areas and signage to help people get around.
Construction of the project began in February 2022 and is projected to be complete Spring 2024.
Some background on this project:
• This project started when Metro received an unsolicited proposal from Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) Community Development Corporation in 2017 and entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the developer in 2018. Unsolicited proposals give external parties the opportunity to bring ideas to Metro.
•In June 2021, the Metro Board approved an updated Joint Development Policy to build as much affordable housing near transit for those who need it most, as soon as possible, on Metro-owned properties. By leveraging Metro property for housing and other community benefits, the Metro Joint Development Program is a powerful means of improving Angelenos’ access to opportunity. Through Metro’s Joint Development Program, 300 affordable housing units have begun construction on Metro-owned land this year, adding to the 2,200 units in Metro’s portfolio.
•Metro has several other joint development projects in the works — on land the agency owns (usually left over from construction of rail projects). Learn more about the Joint Development program.
Speakers at the event included: L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Hilda Solis; California State Treasurer Fiona Ma; L.A. Council Member Mitch O’Farrell; Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jose “Che” Ramirez; Debbie Chen, Director of Real Estate, LTSC Community Development Corporation; Erich Nakano, Executive Director, LTSC Community Development Corporation; Gustavo Velasquez, Director, California Department of Housing & Community Development; Margarita Lares, Chief Programs Officer, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles; Ann Sewill, Los Angeles Housing Department; Garrett Gin, Bank of America, and; Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins.
“Today is an exciting day for Metro and East Hollywood,” said Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First District. “This new transit-oriented development will be an example of how innovative thinking and strategic partnerships can make sustainable, equitable development a reality. Developing housing on Metro-owned land is making a difference in the lives of Angelenos throughout the County and we will continue to work to deliver on our promise of developing 5,000 affordable housing units by 2031.”“Every Angeleno deserves a safe, affordable and comfortable place to live,” said Los Angeles City Council Member Mitch O’Farrell, who helped secure funding and entitlements for the project’s completion. “Projects like these will make a real difference for working families in East Hollywood, while also putting people experiencing homelessness on a pathway to wellness, stability and a purposeful life. I’m proud to have worked with LTSC and Metro to make this project a reality and look forward to welcoming its first residents as soon as it opens.” “We are proud to be collaborating with Metro on this development that will help address the acute affordability challenges families face throughout Los Angeles,” said LTSC Executive Director Erich Nakano. “This project is a prime example of how we can place Los Angeles on a path toward a more sustainable, affordable and livable future. We hope it will inspire future sustainable housing developments in cities and communities across the county.” “Many transit riders in our county have an average annual income of just $19,325 a year,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “These are the residents that need affordable housing located near transit the most. How we use our land can help make the difference between a thriving community for all versus one that doesn’t work for low- and moderate-income families.”