Historic L.A. Hotel Becomes Affordable Seniors Housing

Originally named the Somerville Hotel, the Dunbar Hotel was the center of the African-American community in Los Angeles from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Thomas Safran & Associates and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development have cleaned up and transformed one of the neighborhood’s most dangerous buildings. During the process, they forged a strong relationship with residents and police, an alliance that has earned a national award.

In addition to rehabilitating the Dunbar Hotel and its 40 affordable units, the team renovated two adjacent buildings to increase its impact. As a result, the project provides 81 apartments.

The $29.9 million effort includes rehabilitating the lobby to be consistent with its appearance during its former glory. The work included restoring murals, renovating lighting, and updating the community room and mezzanine.

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