EAH Housing, one of the largest and most respected nonprofit housing development and management organizations in the Western United States, joined by Santa Monica community stakeholders, announced the start of construction for The Laurel, a 58-unit affordable and supportive housing apartment community.

“While demand for affordable housing far exceeds supply, this project will help make a dent in Santa Monica’s affordability crisis,” said Laura Hall, President and CEO of EAH Housing. “The project’s many stakeholders worked tirelessly together to create a housing solution compassionately tailored to the unique needs of homeless individuals.”

Located at 1413 Michigan Avenue, the four-story building will comprise 57 studio apartments, reserved for individuals between 30% and 50% of area median income (AMI), as well as a manager’s unit. Residents will benefit from a laundry facility on each floor, a common area deck on the 3rd and 4th floor, 12 on grade parking spaces, and 800 square feet of community space for resident use.

The cultural landmark Santa Monica Nikkei Hall, which has been vacant for several years, is being restored and incorporated into the project, and will serve as the community use space. The building’s original windows, entry porch, and woodwork will be preserved, along with the restoration of a Japanese garden.

Designed by KFA, a Los Angeles-based architecture firm with a focus on urban revitalization and sustainability, the C-shaped building will surround a landscaped courtyard with seating. An elevated patio on the second floor and a third-floor community deck will face inward to the central courtyard to promote community interaction.

The People’s Concern, one of Los Angeles County’s largest providers of social services to those facing homelessness and domestic violence, will provide supportive services.  

The Laurel will be located near a wide variety of neighborhood amenities, jobs, and services with the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Boulevard, and Santa Monica Pier all within walking distance.

The total development cost of the project is projected at $37.3 million and the City of Santa Monica contributed to purchasing the site through the Housing Trust Fund. Financing sources include federal tax credits, state funding, and the City of Santa Monica. 

“The Santa Monica City Council is committed to the production of much needed permanent supportive housing,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “We look forward to the day when residents fill these apartments, which we partially funded through a contribution from the City’s Housing Trust Fund.”

The Laurel’s construction is scheduled for completion in late 2023.

Submitted by Miriam Naggar