LOS ANGELES – Councilman Ed Reyes was the keynote speaker at the Grand Opening of “Villas del Lago” on Feb. 26, celebrating AMCAL’s latest infill development in urban Los Angeles. “This is an amazing addition to the social fabric that will have an impact for generations to come,” Reyes said. “I appreciate everything that you and your team have done. I look forward to working with you in the future.”
Reyes also lauded the design, a popular art deco by Withee Malcolm (Torrance), as a fine example of higher density, which replaced dilapidated housing and may actually increase nearby property values. The MacArthur/Westlake district has one of the city’s highest population densities, with 70,000 persons per square mile, and needs relief from overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary housing. Household income is as low as $20,000 for a 4-person family.
AMCAL has completed 11 affordable apartments and workforce condominium developments in Los Angeles since 2001.
Mercedes Marquez, General Manager of the L.A. Housing Dept., noted that AMCAL has closed 5 funding deals with LAHD and has 2 more in process: “I’m certainly pleased to join you here for one more opening. It’s important to a government partner to have those who can bring solid projects to us on time and within budget. It’s things like this that bring solace.”
Full occupancy of the 74-unit family affordable apartment in the Westlake district occurred in 30 days after completion in the Fall of 2008.
In addition, AMCAL opened “Casa de Angeles,” its third development in South Los Angeles, in September, and in October, AMCAL opened its first development in the San Fernando Valley, “Villas Las Americas” in Panorama City.
Villas del Lago consists of 4 levels with 74 parking spaces in an enclosed, gated garage and is built on a 44,000-sf site It features a community clubhouse, large courtyard with landscaping and children’s play area, energy-efficient appliances and HVAC that exceeds Title 24 by 15%. The site is located near MacArthur Park, St. Vincent Medical Center, Belmont and Contreras H.S., DeNeve Library, MTA bus lines, markets and pharmacy.
Non-profit partner is W.O.R.K.S. (Los Angeles) and Executive Director Channa Grace. Limited partner is United Communities and President Susan Han. Social services for tenants are provided by LifeSteps.
Project value is $25,377,000 with primarily funding from a $16,998,000 allocation of 9% tax credits in 2006. SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners funded $14,785,000 in equity. Los Angeles Housing Dept. provided gap financing of $5,282,000, and AHP of $292,000 was sponsored by U.S. Bank. Chase (formerly WaMu) provided construction loan of $9,200,000, and California Community Redevelopment Corp. provided permanent loan of $3,565,000.
SunAmerica has provided $225,000,000 in tax credit equity to AMCAL developments in the past 8 years. CCRC provided $65,000,000 in permanent loans in recent years. AMCAL General Contractors completed the project on schedule and within budget, including the complex construction of a 30-ft. high retaining wall in the rear and a slope of 30% on the site. Panelized framing was used, which resulted in one floor to be framed every 4 days.
Project Manager is Maurice Ramirez, Vice President of Operations and Development. Asst. Project Manager is Randy Slabbers. Director of Construction is Tom Blankenship. Construction Manager is Gerry Huerta. Project Accountant is Darcy Westman.
Villas del Lago was quickly 100% leased in one month through the supervision of AMCAL’s Asset Manager Don Brenon. FPI Management is the property manager.
After being displaced by construction, five original tenants from the previous apartments qualified to move into the new project. Three others purchased their first homes using relocation assistance. Also,13 tenants are from the project’s home 90057 zip code area.
Developer (Oct. 6): AMCAL’s Puerta del Sol condominiums were featured in an article by reporter Lori Johnston on creative workforce housing developments. The successful development provided homebuyers assistance programs, varied floor plans, fine kitchen amenities and a good location near jobs, entertainment and transit.
Builder & Developer (Dec.): AMCAL President Percival Vaz was selected for the “Who’s Who in Homebuilding” for the second year, which lists the “best and brightest in the fields of residential building, land development and planning” in the western United States.