Aszkenazy Brings 62 Affordable Homes to San Fernando

paark_view_opening1Residents of the City of San Fernando have Aszkenazy Development, Inc. to thank for Park View Place, a new residential development providing 62 homes affordable to low-income individuals and families, with some reserved for those with special needs. Aszkenazy Development has played an integral role in revitalizing the City of San Fernando, with Park View Place being just one of their standout achievements.  Park View Place is strategically located directly across from a park and regional pool facility and features a large courtyard, gym, outdoor community firepit, computer lab, and resident services provided by L.A. Family Housing and Partners in Care.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky joined San Fernando Mayor Antonio Lopez to stress the positive economic and social impacts of affordable housing development. Century was recognized for providing critical financial support through $650,000 in acquisition financing and a $791,000 letter of credit during the course of construction.

Century Loans in April

Century recently closed two loans in Southern California:

Jamboree Housing and WNC Investment Partners are developing Arbor Terrace Apartments in Colton (San Bernardino County) with Century’s $12,350,000 acquisition loan, our first deal financed using the Golden State Acquisition Fund. The project will rehabilitate 129 family apartments, adding improvements such as new bathrooms, kitchens and appliances, and extend affordability to lower income tenants.

–Al Leibovic is developing 6900 Laurel Canyon with the help of $1,700,000 in construction financing from Century. The project will create nine units of workforce housing in North Hollywood.

Menlo Family Apartments Opens in Central LA

Menlo Family Apartments Opening

Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) and Koreatown Youth & Community Center’s (KYCC) newly developed Menlo Family Apartments opened  its doors to low-income and special needs residents last month. The development transformed a crime-ridden corner near the intersection of Pico Blvd. and Vermont Ave. into 60 low-income family and special needs apartments.

Menlo Family Apartments targets families earning less than 50% of Los Angeles area median income, with an entire 30 units set aside for homeless families, homeless families with children with mental illness, and homeless transitional aged youth. Over 4,000 square feet of service space and community rooms make up the ground floor providing after-school programs, life skills training, financial literacy and parenting, and mental health counseling and treatment, led by KYCC.

Century contributed $1,220,000 to the project’s acquisition and predevlopment financing.

See the LTSC post for details.

More Housing Options Coming to Panorama City

Nodrhoff Apartments

Last week’s closing of a $4,550,000 Century construction loan is paving the way for new workforce apartments in Panorama City thanks to developers Gary Kleinman, David Kleinman, Mike Engelman, Al Leibovic, and Marat Dreicer.  The 28-unit two- and three- bedroom project, named Nordhoff Apartments, will be opening its doors to San Fernando Valley residents in early 2014.

Has the Granny Flat Finally Arrived — as the Graduate Flat?

Lennar, a well-known and fairly traditional home builder active in California, made the news recently because they are offering a new product in their Crescent Heights at Sky Ranch subdivision in Santee, a suburban city east of San Diego.  One of the three models offered incorporates what they are calling their NextGen, Home Within a Home.  Essentially, this is a studio apartment, with a separate one-car garage, included within the same structure as a fairly standard 4-bedroom (plus ‘Bonus Room’), 3-bath, 2-car garage suburban home.  The studio unit has its own separate entrance from the outside, kitchenette and space for a stacked washer and dryer.

The home is priced at $610,000, and has about 3,650 sq.ft. in total, or about $167/sq.ft.  For the San Diego market, it is in about the middle of the price range.

Is there a market for this “new” type of home?  Lennar seems to think so, and the national press has been talking about the demand for multigenerational housing for some time.  CNN Money wrote about it in April 2012, a year ago, the New York Times pointed out that it was a new trend a year before that, a recently published book, Together Again, notes articles going back to at least 2005 on their promotional website, AARP has a whole blog site dedicated to the issue.  It has been discussed in various “learned journals” (I happen to like the article in New Geography). Read more

Hooray! For A Groundbreaking In Hollywood!

Los Angeles City Councilor Eric Garcetti joined Mark Walther and Frank Fonseca, principals of developer American Communities and Century CEO Ron Griffith helped to celebrate the groundbreaking for The Gordon, our eighth partnership of Century and AC.  Joining them were other key partners in the development – Rushmore Cervantes of the Los Angeles Housing Department; Richard Prantis of PSL Architects; Maria Maynard of Bank of America; and Mark Rasmussen of  CCRC. The Gordon’s 21 apartments for very low income families will be completed, with LEED Gold certification, and open to residents in the fall of 2013.

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New Development to Rise in the North San Fernando Valley

As many affordable housing developers deal with the challenge of the end of redevelopment agency funding, some are able to move forward on projects because they don’t require significant public subsidy. Century’s latest loan closing is a $2,000,000 site acquisition loan to Aszkenazy Development, Inc. for the site of Harding/Fermoore in the City of San Fernando, where 112 apartments (in two buildings) for low-income families get under construction in late 2012.

elevation of Fermoore Bldg.

This project will be built without any funding commitments from the City of San Fernando or Los Angeles County, as both of those jurisdictions, like most in California, have budget issues that preclude significant support for affordable housing. The high demand for low income housing credits and low loan interest rates make it possible to build without those direct subsidies, however, if developers have the confidence to proceed.

Groundbreaking for The Serrano

Rending by PSL Architects

American Communities broke ground on May 1st for The Serrano, a 44 apartment development for low-income families in Koreatown. Century provided a $1.9 million land acquisition loan to American Communities in December.  This will be the seventh development that Century has financed for American Communities, and the fourth in Koreatown, joining Harvard HeightsThe Hobart, and The Ardmore. Construction will be completed in the fall of 2013, and will be certified LEED Silver. Congratulations to American Communities and PSL Architects!


New Loan Closing in Koreatown

Harvard Heights

Harvard Heights, Century's first deal with American Communities

Century is pleased to announce our 8th acquisition loan  with American Communities (The Gordon closed in late October), this time for The Serrano, which will provide 44 apartments for very-low income families in Koreatown. The $1.9 million loan for The Serrano and the $1.55 million loan for The Gordon both needed to close by year-end to meet the property seller’s deadlines. American Communities has already secured tax credit awards for both developments, so construction should be starting in early 2012, creating more than 130 new construction jobs.

Serrano apartment building

One of the classic apartment buildings on South Serrano Ave.

The development will be across the street from Hobart Blvd. Elementary School, and just two blocks from the first development American Communities and Century worked on, Harvard Heights Apartments. With The Serrano, American Communities will be adding to one of the most attractive blocks in Koreatown.

Is This the REAL Issue Facing the Housing Industry?

While much though is expended on how the financing side of the housing market needs support for a recovery, a BusinessWeek article by Steve Matthews posits an interesting and powerful, if underappreciated, factor in the recovery of the housing market – a slowing birthrate in the United States. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that births in the US numbered just slightly more than 4 million in 2010, the fewest since 1999 and down by 6% from 2007 (table below). Why do fewer children matter to the housing market? When couples delay marriage and starting a family because they lack of confidence in the economy, the move from apartment (renter) to a home (owner) is also delayed. This may be a good sign for continued strength in the apartment industry, but it will certainly keep the single family residential market down, in most the country, for the next several years.

[from BusinessWeek article] The fall-off in births is part of a vicious cycle that stems partly from the housing slump. States with the largest economic declines in 2007 and 2008 were most likely to have relatively large declines in babies from 2008 to 2009, based on an analysis in October by the Pew Research Center.

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