Whittier Boulevard Downey Road Apartments in East LA

Puesta del Sol includes 71 apartments at the southeast corner of Whittier Boulevard and Downey Road. The same developer is building a new project on the northeast corner of the intersection.

ICYMI: This story was originally published in East LA Weekly.

East Los Angeles -- Close to 300 new apartments have recently been completed or are under construction in a cluster of housing complexes being built by nonprofit developers.

All five are affordable housing projects destined for low-income families, veterans or homeless individuals. All five will offer social services, as well as a number of amenities.

Currently under construction

Rising on the northwest corner of East 1st and Rowan, in Wellington Heights, is the 61-unit El Nuevo Amanecer complex.

Developed by the East Los Angeles Community Corp. (ELACC) at an estimated cost of $40 million, the four-story building will include 10,000 square feet of street-level commercial space. 

As reported by Urbanize, the design will be Spanish Colonial Revival, with balconies and a pedestrian plaza at the corner. Rents for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units will range from $545 to $1,260 per month, including utilities.

El Nuevo Amanecer is one of several Eastside properties being built or developed by ELACC, which revealed in May that it’s facing a financial shortfall. At the time, the organization said the shortfall "will not [have] any impact on our housing developments or their financing."

About a mile and a half away, Meta Housing Corp. is building the second phase of a housing development that will occupy two of the corners across from the historic Calvary Cemetery, at Whittier Boulevard. and Downey Road.  

Urbanize reported that the developer broke ground in April on the $23.8 million project, known as Whittier/Downey Northwest. The three-story, 42-unit building will rise on the site of a former parking lot. It will include 1,161 square feet of what Meta describes as “community serving retail.”

The project will offer studios, one- and two-bedroom dwellings that rent between $509 and $604 per month. Amenities will include a community room with full kitchen, on-site laundry and gym, and an outdoor BBQ area.

Recently completed

On the southeast corner of the same intersection, Meta Housing has completed a larger, 71-unit complex. Puesta del Sol is a four-story building that includes 3,400 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a parking garage.

According to Urbanize, about 15 percent of the one-, two- and three-bedroom units are destined for disabled residents and are equipped with mobility, auditory and visual communication features. Manager The John Stewart Company says half of the units will go to households experiencing homelessness referred by the county's Department of Health Services.

The complex was built at a reported cost of $31 million. Rents at Puesta del Sol will range from $507 to $1,405 per month.

In development

An even larger project is being planned on an empty lot about two blocks east of the Maravilla Gold Line Station. In June, LA County gave developer National CORE the green light to purchase the lot at 3rd Street and Dangler Avenue for $1.4 million. There it will develop a $42 million, four-story complex with 78 residential units and a 39-car garage.

Urbanize said the development will cater to formerly homeless people and offer on-site supportive and work development services.

A smaller project is expected to replace a familiar East LA landmark: the former site of the El Pedorrero Muffler Shop at Whittier Boulevard and Record Street. There, ELACC will develop a second phase of its Whittier Place Apartments – a two-story, 34-unit building with studios, one- and two-bedroom units for special needs populations.

No construction costs were available for the development, which is just two blocks west from the Meta developments at Downey Rd.

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