By Edwin Folven, 2/28/2013
The Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC) is moving forward with plans for its latest affordable housing development near the Western Avenue Corridor in Hollywood.
The Coronel, a 54-unit development, will be built over adjoining parcels between 1601 N. Hobart Blvd. and 1600 to 1608 N. Serrano Ave. Bill Harris, executive director of the HCHC, said the project will provide new housing options for people living 30 to 60 percent below the poverty level. The site is near supermarkets, restaurants and public transportation hubs such as the Hollywood/Western Metro Red Line Station. The Coronel will join another HCHC project nearby on Serrano Avenue — The Hollywood Bungalow Courtyards. The HCHC has built 22 affordable housing projects throughout the city, including projects such as Views at 270, a 56-unit development at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue; the Mariposa Place Apartments, a 58-unit project on Mariposa Place; and the Carlton Court apartments, which offers 61 units at the corner of Carlton Way and Western Avenue.
“We are actually really excited about [The Coronel],” Harris said. “It is going to run street-to-street on one lot. We are moving two bungalows that are currently on the interior of one of the properties to the front so it will blend in better with the neighborhood. Serrano is a fairly narrow street, so our vision is to have all the entrances to the subterranean garage off Hobart Street, which should limit the traffic on Serrano.”
The Coronel will be three to four stories tall, with one- to three-bedroom units. Rents will range from $660 to $1,332-per-month, depending on the occupant’s income level and the number of bedrooms. In addition to affordable housing, The Coronel will offer programs and social services for residents such as English as a second language, GED completion, after-school tutoring and college mentoring, money management and more. The project will be close to a community food pantry operated by the HCHC at 5030 Santa Monica Blvd., where residents can receive free groceries once a month. The food pantry, which is supported by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Hollywood-area neighborhood councils, is open to the public but caters only to residents of the neighborhoods stretching from Hollywood to Echo Park, and Los Feliz to Koreatown. People seeking food must show proof of residence within those areas, Harris said.
The Coronel has received tentative approval from the city, and an environmental impact report is currently available for public review through April 8 at www.cityplanning.lacity.org. Harris said the HCHC hopes to begin construction as soon as possible, but is still in the process of lining up funding for the $22.8 million project. He said realistically, construction will likely begin in 2014. It will be financed through federal tax credits and grants secured from the former Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Housing Department and private sources.
Harris said the HCHC also plans to look for more opportunities to build affordable housing around the Western Avenue corridor in Hollywood.
“A number of buildings there have been beautifully preserved, and the new buildings add to the character of the neighborhood. I think it has absolutely transformed that area,” Harris said. “Everything is close to the Metro station and you can walk to shopping like Food for Less. It adds density to a major transportation corridor, where we should be adding density.”