LOS ANGELES, CA - More than 800 people have already submitted applications to live at Lorena Heights Apartments, a new income-eligible housing community in Boyle Heights that had its official grand opening celebration on March 7, 2012. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by The Michaels Organization and its non-profit development partner LINC Housing, was attended by Los Angeles Councilmember José Huizar (14th District) among other dignitaries, community leaders, and residents who celebrated the opening of this much-needed affordable housing in an important East Los Angeles neighborhood.
“Lorena Heights offers working families in Boyle Heights access to affordable, quality homes, and we’re grateful to the City, this community, and our partners for their support,” said David Lukens, vice president of development with Michaels Development Company. Lukens noted that Lorena Heights has reached 84 percent occupancy after just 45 days of leasing.
The $40-million urban-infill community features both two- and three-bedroom floor plans in two, four-story contemporary buildings, which are affordable to working families earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income in Los Angeles County, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition to the 112 apartment units, property highlights include a picnic area, playground, a subterranean parking garage, and a community recreation center that features the restored façade of a historic church that once occupied the site.
Councilmember Huizar’s office was instrumental in helping complete the project, dealing with City departments to ensure that critical deadlines were met.
“The Lorena Heights Apartments are a welcomed addition that will help serve the Boyle Heights community," said Huizar, a Boyle Heights resident who was raised a couple of blocks from the new development. “This new housing complex brought 75 jobs to the local community and is part of a revitalization effort in recent years that has resulted in $2 billion in investment in Boyle Heights.”
Designed by the award-winning KTGY Group, Inc., and built by CMSI/Advent Companies, Lorena Heights Apartments sits on 2.62 acres of hillside land, offering incredible views of the Hollywood Hills, while being easily accessible to major highways and public transportation. In addition, Lorena Heights residents will have access to on-site supportive services, including an after-school program administered by LINC Housing’s resident service department, LINC Cares. Michaels Development’s sister company, Interstate Realty Management, will provide expert property management ensuring the community continues to be an asset to the neighborhood.
"Even as the economy shows signs of recovery, we know that many people still struggle," said Hunter L. Johnson, president and CEO of LINC Housing. "We're pleased to see this beautiful new community become a reality for families in this area. And we're not going anywhere. LINC Cares' resident services will be here to help improve and enhance the lives of those who now call Lorena home."
The Lorena Heights development benefited from $19.9 million of private equity from Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised through the sale of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits as well as $5 million of infill infrastructure funds from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Another $5 million came from the California Pollution Control Finance Authority. Bank of America Merrill Lynch also provided $15.8 million of construction and bridge loans. Continental Mortgage Corporation provided $10 million in bridge loans. Finally, the seller of the property has provided a residual receipts note of $1.2 million.
Michaels Development Company, Interstate Realty Management, and Continental Mortgage Corp. are part of The Michaels Organization, a family of companies dedicated to excellence in affordable, mixed-income, student, and military housing. Michaels Development Company is the number-one ranked privately held affordable housing owner in the country and in 2010 was named the Multifamily Development Firm of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders. Its sister company, Interstate Realty Management, is an award-winning property and asset management company offering nationally acclaimed social services. Continental Mortgage Corp. is an FHA-approved mortgage lender.
LINC Housing, one of California’s most productive nonprofit developers of affordable housing, has helped create more than 7,000 homes in 60 communities throughout the state. The organization’s properties are known for excellent design, outstanding management and life-enhancing services for its residents. LINC has 27 years of service to families, seniors, and local governments helping to create sustainable communities via new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation, and historic preservation.
Celebrating its 20th year, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture + Planning, provides comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market trends and financial performance and takes particular pride in its highly motivated and principal led studios. Serving clients worldwide, KTGY maintains offices in Irvine, Oakland and Santa Monica, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Tysons Corner, Va.