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Los Angeles Skyscraper Marks Nation's Latest Major Affordable Housing Project

35-Story Development Pitched In Hollywood Features All Affordable Units

A vacant lot at at 5645 W. Fernwood Ave. may soon transform into one of the tallest, all-affordable housing towers in the city of Los Angeles. (City of Los Angeles)

By Jack Witthaus

CoStar News

January 18, 2024 | 2:10 P.M.

A nearly 400-foot tower with all affordable housing units proposed for Los Angeles joins a wave of major projects across the country aimed at serving lower-income residents.

Applicant ABS Properties is seeking approvals for a 35-story, 523-unit project with 100% affordable housing for seniors at 5645 W. Fernwood Ave. in the Hollywood neighborhood, according to city documents. An entity related to the project applicant bought the nearly 0.4-acre property for roughly $3.5 million in February 2018, according to CoStar data.

The project is the latest affordable housing development proposed in Los Angeles and would be among the largest 100% affordable projects in America's second-biggest city. A project representative didn't respond to an emailed request to comment from CoStar News.

Los Angeles has seen a surge of affordable housing projects in recent years as the city and developers respond to affordability issues and a growing homeless population in one of the nation's most expensive residential markets. The city approved eight times as many affordable units — roughly 8,400 — in 2021 compared with 2015, according to city documents.

In August, a 17-story, 302-unit project pitched in the city's Skid Row area was expected to be the largest 100% permanent supportive housing in the city.

Los Angeles isn't alone in its efforts to increase affordable housing through large complexes solely dedicated to lower-income residents.

In New York, a 2,500-unit, 100% affordable housing project called Willets Point broke ground in December in what the city said is its largest all-affordable housing project in the past four decades, according to city documents. Last month in San Jose, California, a developer pitched an 804-unit, all-affordable housing project for the city, according to the Mercury News.

Affordable housing is becoming a more popular investment in the U.S. due in part to a lack of supply, with investment volume in the sector reaching an all-time high of $13.5 billion in 2021, according to a December CBRE report. That figure was a mere $674 million in 2009.

Affordable housing "offers strong and stable fundamentals, growing investor demand and access to financing with longer loan terms, higher loan-to-value ratios and longer amortization periods," according to the CBRE report.


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