At its meeting tonight, the Alhambra Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on a proposal to redevelop nearly more than 1,000 new homes on land surrounding the historic Alhambra office complex.

The Ratkovich Company, which owns The Alhambra campus, is seeking approvals to redevelop roughly 20 acres of the property that is currently improved with surface parking lots and storage buildings.  Their proposal for the land, called the Villages at the Alhambra, envisions the construction of multiple five- and six-story structures containing 56 for-sale homes, 545 rental apartments, and parking for 4,347 vehicles.

Ratkovich would preserve approximately 900,000 square feet of existing office space - much of which dates to the 1920s - while repurposing approximately 10,000 square feet for residential amenities.  Plans also call for retaining an LA Fitness health club.

Next Architecture is designing the project, which would break the sprawling site into a grid pattern using new internal streets and pedestrian paseos.  The contemporary low-rise structures would offer town homes, as well as studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom flats.,

The project, if approved, is anticipated to be built in multiple phases over a period of up to 10 years, although the proposed development agreement would permit construction to occur over as many as 20 years.

In addition to applicant and staff presentations, the Planning Commission will also consider comments submitted by Alhambra residents and other interested parties.  While the Villages development enjoys the support of several business organizations, dozens of letters expressed opposition to the project due to questions over affordability. 

Under a proposed development agreement, the project would set aside 10 percent of the rental units - 55 in total - as moderate-income housing priced for households earning up to 120 percent of the area median income.  Several letters urged the Commission to require a larger affordable set-aside with prices set for households earning below the moderate-income level.

Ratkovich, which is headquartered in Downtown, is also developing the $150-million San Pedro Public Market.