LOS ANGELES (September 28, 2021) – Construction of a 278-unit, 19-story permanent supportive housing high-rise was celebrated at a ceremony today at 555 S. Crocker Street in the Skid Row district of downtown Los Angeles.
Replacing a surface parking lot on .41 acres near Sixth and San Pedro streets, Weingart Tower is the first stage of a multi-phase approach to providing Permanent Supportive Housing for individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. The development features 228 studio apartments, forty-seven one-bedroom apartments, and three one-bedroom apartments for fulltime onsite managers.
Weingart Tower is a collaboration between the Weingart Center, a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that provides supportive services to homeless individuals; and Chelsea Investment Corporation, one of the nation’s leading developers of affordable housing.
“Permanent Supportive Housing is a nationally-recognized and proven method of addressing chronic homelessness in our communities,” states Senator Kevin Murray (ret.), President and Chief Executive Officer of the Weingart Center. “We work with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Kevin de Leon, County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, and the community-at-large to ensure that our programs and services not only meet our expectations, but our clients’ expectations as well.”
The development is strategically located to create a significant improvement in the quality of life for hundreds of people living in the largest concentrations of unhoused people in the United States. All units include furnishings, central heating and air, fully equipped kitchens, and window coverings.
“Chelsea is honored to partner with Weingart, who has demonstrated a commitment to making a meaningful impact in this neighborhood,” said Jim Schmid, Founder and CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp., a San Diego-based developer credited with creating more than 11,000 affordable homes in the western region. “With support from city, state, and federal officials this dynamic, supportive community will offer dignified housing and life-saving services to thousands of people for decades to come.”
Comprehensive wraparound services, which are tailored to residents’ needs, will include case management, medical and mental health treatment services, client plan development, group meetings, a meals program, and more. As Weingart Center Association is committed to sustainability and eco-friendly design, Weingart Tower will achieve, at a minimum, a Green Point Gold Certification.
The architectural concept was developed by Joseph Wong Design Associates at the inception of the project in 2016. The project architect is AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design and the development will be built by Emmerson Construction as construction manager-at risk, along with Swinerton Builders and other key contractors. Project Management Advisors (PMA) is serving as the owner’s representative for project management.
“We are eager to see how this development will not only change the landscape of Downtown Los Angeles, but more importantly, how it will impact the lives of so many individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Emilio Salas, Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) Executive Director. “Our partnership with the Weingart Center, Chelsea Investment Corporation, and other committed partners will bring a multi-phase approach to providing affordable housing and supportive services to County residents.”
Financing for the development includes construction and permanent loans provided by Pacific Western Bank, tax credit equity invested by The Richman Group, HHH funds from the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department, No Place Like Home funds administered by LACDA, Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities funding, and Multifamily Housing Program funding administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
“The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles is pleased to partner with the Weingart Center Association and Chelsea Investment Corporation as we continue to build and provide affordable housing solutions,” said HACLA President and CEO Doug Guthrie. “The groundbreaking of Weingart Tower A is significant to HACLA, marking our largest Permanent Supportive Housing-Project Based Voucher development, and we remain very excited and optimistic for what’s to come.”
Pacific Western Bank continues to be an important community partner for the Weingart Tower project. “Pacific Western Bank appreciates the opportunity to join the Weingart Center Association and Chelsea Investment Corporation as funding partner for this critical project that will help transform the Skid Row community in Downtown Los Angeles. With the funding dedicated to the construction of Weingart Tower, Pacific Western Bank continues to demonstrate a commitment to revitalize our local communities and support the health and wellbeing of our citizens,” said Chris Baron, President, Los Angeles Region of Pacific Western Bank.
In addition to the financing from the partners above, the project was awarded additional grant funding for community improvements through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program. This program funds land-use, housing, transportation, and land preservation projects to support infill and compact development that reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Funds were awarded for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (STI), which be utilized to repair and replace sidewalks that will create more than 3,000 feet of safe and accessible walkways and more than two miles of context-sensitive bikeways (some of the first bikeways built in Skid Row). The funding also includes twenty crosswalks, twenty-three curb ramps, and 2 HAWK Signals to improve safety (HAWK signals are “High Intensity Activated Crosswalks”) that will help provide safe crossing near one of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in the city at the corner of 6th & San Pedro.
The project received funding for Transit Related Amenities (TRA) for the installation of street lighting, bus stop lighting, pedestrian lighting, and bike repair stations and urban greening within a half-mile radius of the project site.
A final grant came from “Programs” funding, which includes providing one discounted unlimited monthly Metro transit pass per month per unit for three years and, in partnership SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments), the funds will also be used to purchase ad space on sixty gas pump toppers and sixty convenience stores in the project area over a 3-year implementation period.
These community improvements will make Skid Row a safer place for residents to bike and walk by offering bicycle safety and basic maintenance education. The program will also give residents an opportunity to ride to local resources in a safe, social environment.
Weingart Tower is scheduled to open in December 2023. Residents will be referred by the Los Angeles Coordinated Entry System with the goal of providing housing opportunities for community members who are currently experiencing homelessness.
Renderings of Weingart Tower 1 can be found here:
About Weingart Center:
Founded in 1982, the Weingart Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that provides homeless individuals with the basic tools necessary to stabilize their lives, secure income, and find permanent housing. Our mission is to empower and transform lives by delivering innovative solutions to break the cycle of homelessness. As one of the best comprehensive human services organizations in the western United States, we are committed to establishing a world in which all people have and maintain a high-quality productive life.
Weingart’s programs and services are housed in our 11-story former El Rey Hotel building, located at the corner of 6th Street and San Pedro Street in Downtown Los Angeles, and an additional 443 beds throughout the County. We provide direct services to more than 44,000 economically disadvantaged individuals per year. We offer programs uniquely tailored to meet the needs of this diverse population. Whatever the obstacles—debt, addiction, a criminal record, mental illness, or physical illness—we help our clients overcome these challenges and clear the way for a fulfilling life. For more information, visit Weingart Center
About Chelsea Investment Corp.
Since 1984, Chelsea has developed 11,625 units of affordable housing for populations including low-income seniors and families, farmworkers, individuals at risk for homelessness, and homeless veterans. With a development portfolio valued in excess of $2.5 billion, Chelsea’s expertise includes urban infill, mixed-use, suburban inclusionary, acquisition rehab and rural properties. The company is the first in California to deliver affordable apartments set aside for people with a developmental disability, such as autism, epilepsy, Down syndrome, or cerebral palsy. Chelsea is one of the few fully integrated affordable housing developers in the region that offers turnkey development, general contracting, and property/asset management services. For more information, visit www.chelseainvestco.com.