Del Rey Square Opens to LA Seniors

Del Rey Square OpeningLos Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl took the wraps off Del Rey Square, a 124 unit senior housing community in West Los Angeles, on April 12, 2013. Open to formerly homeless  and low-income seniors, the complex includes a computer room, fitness center, and private balconies and patios which complement the spectacular Spanish-style exterior.

Century helped finance the project with a $9,547,500 acquisition loan through the New Generation Fund to Thomas Safran & Associates, an award-winning developer responsible for more than 40 properties throughout Los Angeles.

ALA’s Janet L. Witkins Center Breaks Ground

Witkin Center RenderingLos Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky joined a long roster of city officials to celebrate the ground breaking of The Janet L. Witkins Center in the heart of West Hollywood on March 15, 2013. Named after the founder of Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA), an organization dedicated to senior housing and also this project’s developer, the center will be the nation’s first sustainably and universally designed home for vulnerable seniors.

Century’s $850,000 acquisition and predevelopment loan helped finance the 17 unit project targeting seniors with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income.

Hudson Oaks Rises from Ashes

Aaron and Ron at the Hudson Oak Opening

Ann Marie Hickambottom, Ron Griffith, Dana Trujillo, Robin Hughes, Holly Benson, and Aaron Wooler (click to enlarge)

This past Wednesday, the historic Washington Square neighborhood in Northwest Pasadena welcomed back Hudson Oaks, a prominent senior housing development brought down by a 2005 fire. Thanks in part to Century’s $3,560,000 in acquisition financing, Abode Communities has modernized the crippled building to LEED for Home Platinum status with great care taken to match the area’s characteristic Craftsman-style architecture.

Most of the 45 new residents and their families attended the opening event, where everyone got a taste of the stunning mountain views the lucky seniors will be enjoying from their balconies. Too bad the mayor was out sick, because I’m not sure there is a better example of an affordable housing success story in the city—congratulations to Abode Communities and everyone involved.

Hudson Oaks was the first development to benefit from the LA County Innovation Fund.

Visit the Abode Communities site for details about the development.
Read a summary of the project at the time of groundbreaking last year.

Mixed-Income Housing…Will it Finally Be Favored?

Two of Century’s largest clients, Meta Housing and AMCAL Multi-Housing, are featured in an article about mixed-income housing in the March/April 2012 issue of Urban Land. The author, Patricia Kirk, highlights several public-private ventures in Portland (OR), Austin, and especially Southern California, where public agencies financial assistance made vibrant communities with a range of income levels possible.


Meta Housing received financial help from the city of Tustin for Coventry Senior Apartments

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Innovative Financing in Pasadena

Century is pleased to announce the closing of a $1,000,000 acquisition and predevelopment loan for Bridge Housing‘s Heritage Square, 70 apartments for very low income seniors in Pasadena. Century’s loan helped the LA County Housing Innovation Fund live up to its name, as the closing deadline outpaced the completion of the land lease, so Century’s loan had to be closed without real estate collateral, substituting a letter of credit.

Heritage Square

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Century Backs CRA/LA in Sylmar

Sylmar Court RenderingNew state legislation, and a resulting court challenge, affected redevelopment agencies statewide and could have derailed a high-impact affordable housing development in Sylmar. But a smart partnership and timely bridge financing between Century Housing, developer DDCM and the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles has kept the project on track.

CRA/LA approved purchase of a Sylmar development site in August, planning to lease it to DDCM to build Sylmar Court, a project with 150 units of senior affordable housing plus ground-floor retail. But the California Supreme Court put the deal on hold when it issued a stay while it reviewed new redevelopment legislation. CRA/LA faced losing the property when sellers declined to extend an option on the lot beyond September 30th.

On September 1st, CRA/LA contacted Century to arrange a $3.1 million bridge loan for the Sylmar property. Century was able to underwrite, approve and close the loan in 29 days, thanks to close cooperation with CRA/LA’s East Valley Region staff and DDCM President Kurken Alyanakian.

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Affordable Apartments on the Westside?

Del Rey Groundbreaking

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, and Century Housing staff joined developer Tom Safran to celebrate the groundbreaking for Del Rey Square Senior Housing on July 14, where 124 low-income senior citizens will soon be living later next year. Del Rey Square is the first affordable apartment development on the Westside to go up in more than ten years, providing high-quality housing options for a very needy population. The project will improve a vacant lot on Culver Blvd, which has been empty for many years.

The 124-apartment project is a joint venture of Thomas Safran & Associates and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, where HACLA will manage 30 of the apartments and rent them to public housing tenants, and TSA will manage the remaining 94 apartments, as well as providing quality-of-life programs for the residents. Century’s CEO, Ron Griffith, was excited to see that Thomas Safran is continuing to bring their high standard of development to West Los Angeles: “The Westside is in desperate need of affordable senior apartments, and Century is pleased to be a part of this effort,” said Mr. Griffith.

Century’s provided the initial financing with a $9,475,500 land acquisition loan in January 2009, funded through the New Generation Fund, to get the project rolling less than three years ago, and Del Rey Square will open its doors to local seniors in Winter 2012.

Related Links:

The Argonaut (

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (

Photo Credit: Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles

AMCAL: Taking the LEED in the North Valley

Montecito TerracesOne of Century’s largest customers, AMCAL Multi-Housing, was recently featured in Multi-Housing News for its first LEED Silver-certified development, Montecito Terraces in Panorama City, where 98 very-low income seniors will have new affordable apartments. The sustainable “green” systems AMCAL is using in the project are not necessarily the most visible, but they are among the most cost-effective: diverting waste from landfills and recycling building materials; low-water use systems (irrigation and personal use); low-VOC paints; and high-rated HVAC filters. It’s clear that environmentally-sustainable development is not all about solar panels and wind turbines, attractive though they may be; good insulation and water-use management are just as important.

“Developers were very much concerned about the added costs to affordable housing with sustainable building, but … they realize the added benefits in the long haul, including keeping operating expenses low,” Arjun Nagarkatti, president of AMCAL, tells MHN.  “From that standpoint, it’s a good thing to do, and it’s a good practice for protecting the environment.”

Century provided the first investment in this project with a $3.7 million acquisition loan in 2007. Montecito Terraces will be welcoming its first residents later this summer.

Huntington Concord Saves 162 Affordable Homes

Huntington ConcordCentury’s $9,000,000 acquisition loan to Huntington Concord Partners, LP, will help preserve 162 affordable apartments for very-low income seniors in Huntington Park. The developer, LOMCO, has been the property manager since it opened 20 years ago. This was Century’s second deal with LOMCO, following a $12.5 million loan in 2008 for a similar development in Huntington Beach. LOMCO’s day-to-day operations are managed by Kent Davis, a Century alum.