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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Affordable housing proposed for Eagle Rock church property

Affordable housing developer Bob Buente said his firm is guided by an important principal: “We don’t build ugly.” That’s what he is committed to as his firm,  1010 Development Corp., seeks to build 30 affordable apartments on a nearly block-long site that is now home to the Eagle Rock Church of the Nazarene. 1010 Development is in escrow to buy the church property, which owns an L-shaped parcel that stretches along Eagle Rock Boulevard from Fair Park Avenue to Yosemite Drive. However,  the landlord of a Hubert Barber Shop, a longtime business located about mid block on Eagle Rock Boulevard,  has so far not agreed to sell the  freestanding storefront.  Buente said he is willing to offer the barber shop space in the new building but he is prepared to build around Hubert’s in case an agreement can’t be reached.

The project would consist primarily of two and three-bedroom apartments in addition to about  2,000-square feet of community space along Yosemite Drive and about 7,500-square-feet of space along Eagle Rock Boulevard that could be used for commercial purposes, Buente said.  “It’s not a visually attractive sight right now,” said Buente, whose faith-based firm was founded by the United Methodist Church.  “It will have a sense of place.”

Buente said current zoning appears to allow the construction of 30 housing units on the property but his firm is still awaiting final word from the city.  If permits and financing are approved, construction would not begin until the end of 2013, he said. He said it’s not clear where the church would relocate its congregation.

Earlier this year 1010 Development met with the board of The Eagle Rock Association to discuss the project. TERA’s board endorsed the project “with the caveat that our support is based on the assumption that the project will proceed, consistent with the scale, scope, size and design.”



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12 comments

  1. Hold out, Hubert! Make ’em build around you, you adorable little building, you!

  2. p.s. bummer about that church. I’ve always admired it.

  3. I guess they are not going to build it then since they say they don’t build ugly. From what I see of the plans it does not look very attractive. It kind of reminds me of that monstrosity that was build at the corner of Silverlake and Glendale Avenue. It just does not fit in with the neighborhood.

    • I agree the one in Silver Lake was quite a bit out of scale… and too much hardscaping. Although, I think it did fit in with the Mid-Century Modern style that is so characteristic of Silver Lake (Neutra, et al). I would have softened it a bit ….maybe added some retail. I think this 1010 project is going to be mixed-use… it looks like it.

  4. Affordable housing for whom?????

    • Very low to low income residents. Typically, this is 30-50% of area meidan income. Workforce is typically considered 80-120% AMI. Market rate often falls in the 120-150% and up. So, median income is usually much lower than median income required to qualify for a home in a given market area — hence the disconnect and the need for affordable housing. Granted, if we could build enough supply, the free market could solve the problem, but there is an inherent built-in cost “friction” to the cost of construction, approval process, and environmental process, and neighborhood opposition that effectively prevents the free market from being able to satisfy demand. So, there’s a minimum “economies of scale” so to speak, or minimum fixed cost to building any project and it doesn’t always pencil out –leading to unmet demand for housing.

  5. Aren’t affordable housing nonprofits harder to justify in a market when so much of the city is newly “affordable”?

    • True, the affordability of the city as a whole has improved, but not proportionate to drop in home prices once you factor in the imcreased difficulty of getting a loan. So, affordable still can compete, but granted, it can close the gap between newer affordable units and older market rate units, and thus give residents more options. This is of course a good thing as affordability improves (somewhat) for everyone.

      • Factoring in the cost of construction and the inherent risk of trying to predict conditions two years out, wouldn’t it be more efficient for a nonprofit to purchase existing housing (foreclosed single-families) and either serve as landlord or bank to new occupants?

        And market forces aside, a cynic might note that the nonprofit’s directors don’t continue to draw a salary unless their nonprofit keeps building.

  6. “affordable” to some is “exorbitant” to others. I’m all for affordable housing, although I feel like much of the time, the original intent is distorted. seems like a lot of developers throw in a couple of affordable units so that they can get a variance easier. not saying that’s what these guys are doing (I have no idea).

  7. Well, this is a 100% affordable project (all units are for low or very low income residents).

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