A rendering of the building's 19th Street elevation. (Brooks + Scarpa)

Santa Monica’s largest affordable housing developer is planning to construct 48 apartments on Pico Boulevard across the street from Santa Monica College. 

Community Corporation of Santa Monica plans to demolish a church at 1819 Pico Blvd. to construct a four-story building for low-income renters. In addition to apartments, the 46-foot-tall building will house a food hall and community room on its ground floor, according to an Architectural Review Board report. Community Corp. plans to include 49 underground parking spaces and 109 bicycle stalls in the project.

The city of Santa Monica will loan Community Corp. $10.7 million from its affordable housing trust fund to acquire the property and fund the first stages of the project. The city will provide an additional $12.1 million for construction. 

The estimated development cost of the project is $35 million or about $730,000 per apartment, according to Community Corp.’s housing trust fund application. Community Corp. will secure the remaining funding with $20.3 million in tax credits and $2.4 million in bank loans.

The building will contain 22 one-bedrooms, 12 two-bedrooms and 14 three-bedrooms. The average one-bedroom will be 570 square feet, the average two-bedroom 740 square feet and the average three-bedroom 960 square feet.

Fifteen apartments will be restricted to low-income households, or those earning 51% to 80% of the Los Angeles area median income. Twenty-two apartments will serve households earning 31% to 50% of the median income, and 11 will be for households earning less than 30% of the area median income. 

One apartment for a household earning 80% of the area median income would be reserved for an on-site manager.

Local architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa has designed the gray-and-blue building as three structures organized around a 2,400-square-foot central courtyard. More than 5,000 square feet of open space will be provided on the building’s upper levels.

Along Pico Boulevard, the ground floor of the building is transparent and recessed under the first floor. Outdoor dining space is included at the corner of Pico Boulevard and 19th Street.

“Additional articulation is created at the upper floors with projecting window boxes, creating pushes and pulls without a change in massing that would lead to a reduction in units,” associate planner Cary Fukui wrote in a report to the Architectural Review Board. “A large frame element gathers the upper floors to provide a strong presence along Pico and (relates) well to the new Santa Monica College building across the street.”

Parking access, loading zones and refuse areas are located off of 18th Court to the east, according to the building plans.

Community Corp. will demolish the Mount Hermon Baptist Congregation church to construct the building. The church was built in 1950 and has not been designated a landmark. 

A five-unit apartment building at 2024 19th St. built in 1957 will also be razed to make way for the building. 

Community Corp. is planning another four-story building less than a mile at 1834-1848 14th St. The Las Flores complex will contain 73 deed-restricted apartments. 

The nonprofit is also developing Greenway Meadows, a 39-unit affordable complex for seniors at 1820 14th St.

Another affordable developer, EAH Housing, is planning to build 42 apartments at 1413 Michigan Ave. 



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