EAH Housing has started construction on The Laurel, a 58-unit affordable and supportive housing development in Santa Monica, California.
In addition to creating new housing options, the project is notable because the landmark Santa Monica Nikkei Hall, which has been vacant for several years on the site, is being restored and will serve as the development’s community-use space. Built in 1957, the hall had been an important community center for Japanese-American families in the region before closing. Its original windows, entry porch, and woodwork will be preserved, along with the restoration of a Japanese garden.
The Laurel will feature 57 studio apartments for individuals earning between 30% and 50% of the area median income as well as a manager’s unit. Residents will benefit from a laundry facility on each floor, 12 on-grade parking spaces, and 800 square feet of community space.
“While demand for affordable housing far exceeds supply, this project will help make a dent in Santa Monica’s affordability crisis,” said Laura Hall, president and CEO of nonprofit EAH Housing. “The project’s many stakeholders worked tirelessly together to create a housing solution compassionately tailored to the unique needs of homeless individuals.”
Designed by KFA, a Los Angeles-based architecture firm with a focus on urban revitalization and sustainability, the four-story, C-shaped building will surround a landscaped courtyard with seating. An elevated patio on the second floor and a third-floor community deck will face inward to the central courtyard to promote community interaction.
The People’s Concern, one of Los Angeles County’s largest providers of social services to those facing homelessness and domestic violence, will provide supportive services.
The Laurel will be located near a wide variety of neighborhood amenities, jobs, and services, with the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Boulevard, and Santa Monica Pier all within walking distance.
The project is estimated to cost $37.3 million. The city of Santa Monica contributed to the purchase of the site through its Housing Trust Fund. Other funding partners include National Equity Fund, Wells Fargo Bank, and Century Housing.
“The Santa Monica City Council is committed to the production of much-needed permanent supportive housing,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “We look forward to the day when residents fill these apartments, which we partially funded through a contribution from the city’s Housing Trust Fund.”