Transit-Oriented Development Underway at Westlake/MacArthur Park

April 18, 2010 | McCormack Baron Salazar

McCormack Baron Salazar, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the Los Angeles Housing Partnership, Polis Builders and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group announce the construction start on the first phase (Phase I of a new mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented development (TOD) located one block east of the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro Rail Station entrance.

A groundbreaking celebration for the new development is scheduled for Monday, April 12, 2010 at the Westlake/ MacArthur Park Metro Rail Station. Speakers will include, Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes and Carrie Van Syckel, Vice President of Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. The Westlake/MacArthur Park neighborhood, located just two miles west of Downtown Los Angeles, has seen housing costs rise and quality affordable housing diminish. The neighborhood is one of the most densely populated in the city with a significant lower income population. The majority of residents are recent immigrants from Central America, who rely heavily on public transportation.

The project is part of Metro’s Joint Development Program, which seeks to secure the most appropriate private and/or public sector development on Metro-owned property at and adjacent to transit stations and corridors. “We at Metro are looking forward to adding the Westlake/MacArthur Park project to our existing portfolio of transit-oriented development along the Metro Rail system,” said Roger Moliere, Chief, Real Property Management and Development for Metro. “Our hope is that this new development, like our others, will provide our customers with new opportunities to live, work and play by Metro.”

Phase I, the initial phase of a two-phased development effort, will contain 90 units of affordable rental housing above approximately 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and residential, retail and commuter parking. The commuter parking will consist of 100 spaces, partially funded by Metro, that are intended for use by Metro Rail commuters. The total development costs for Phase I is approximately $45 million. The second phase of the development will be constructed directly over the Metro Rail station entrance, and will be comprised of 82 affordable housing units, a retail component and associated parking.

“Groundbreaking on the Westlake/MacArthur Park development is monumental on several levels: first it introduces much needed affordable housing into the community, it provides parking and retail with a focus on public transit, and it  demonstrates the successful result of the collaboration of public-private sectors. We hope that this development will be a cornerstone for future growth and re-investment in the Westlake/MacArthur Park neighborhood”, said Tony Salazar, President of McCormack Baron Salazar West Coast Operations.

In addition to offering residents the convenience of multiple modes of public transit, Phase I will be a “green” design meeting LEED Silver requirements that include using recycled materials, high energy efficient heat and cooling systems and dual glazed windows, water saving fixtures, non-toxic paints and materials, and R-19 insulation. Market rate amenities such as washer and dryer, dishwasher, central air and heat, free high speed internet are standard in each unit. In addition, each household will receive a free monthly Metro pass.

“McCormack Baron Salazar is pleased to have partnered with such a tremendous team on this redevelopment endeavor. Together we have put together an incredible usage of financing techniques for the MacArthur Park project. This development utilizes a unique blend of Low Income Tax Credit, New Market Tax Credits, tax-exempt bonds, Metro funds and ARRA funds,” said Dan Falcon, Senior Vice President of McCormack Baron Salazar Los Angeles.

Phase I financing was provided by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (4% Low Income Tax Credit (LIHTC)), Bank of America (tax-exempt bonds), Goldman Sachs & Co. (LIHTC and New Market Tax Credit Equity Partners), the City of Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) – Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), the County of Los Angeles Community Development Commission – City of Industry Program, the State of California Housing & Community Development Department TOD Program, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA - Stimulus) funds, MBS Urban Initiatives CDE, LLC – New Market Tax Credits and Metro.

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