Seven years after sponsoring a ballot measure aimed at reigning in development, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its affiliate the Health Housing Foundation are set to begin work this summer on a high-rise in Downtown Los Angeles.

Architecture firm Glavovic Studio sends work that construction is set to commence in June 2024 for the Renaissance Center, a affordable housing development at 423 E. 7th Street in Skid Row. The privately-funded project, expected to cater to very low- and extremely low-income households, will consist of a 15-story building featuring 216 micro unit apartments ranging from 280 to 322 square feet in size.

7th Street elevation for Renaissance CenterGlavovic Studio

Renaissance Center will be the first residential high-rise built with prefabricated modular units in the City of Los Angeles, and is described as a "national prototype" because of the site and budget constraints.

"At a time when many Californians can't afford basic living expenses, we need to address the affordable housing crisis, and that comes down to building more and less expensive affordable housing. Renaissance Center will do exactly that, providing hundreds of affordable housing units to the low-income residents of Los Angeles," said Glavovic Studio founder Margi Glavovic Nothard in a statement. "AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Glavovic Studio's high-rise prefabricated modular design will expand the supply of affordable housing for those who need it most, and we look forward to replicating our social impact in other parts of the country too."

Interior of Renaissance Center Glavovic Studio

The project may be the first modular high-rise in the City of Los Angeles, but it is not the first to combine high-rise construction with affordable housing. The Weingart Center has partnered with two developers on 17- and 19-story towers now under construction just north at the intersection of 6th and San Pedro Streets.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has remained an active critic of development in the City of Los Angeles, has more recently become a landlord, buying up historic buildings and either converting or preserving them as affordable housing. However, the non-profit has come under fire for "squalid conditions," at many of its buildings, where residents have complained of deferred maintenance and threats of eviction.

Aerial view of Renaissance Center looking northwestGlavovic Studio

Nonetheless, the organization is not done with its housing efforts in Los Angeles - up next are plans to convert the century-old Insurance Exchange Building at 9th and Olive Streets into 251 apartments, followed by the restoration of the historic Morrison Hotel at Pico and Hope Streets. Both of those projects are also being designed by Glavovic Studio.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Glavovic are also active outside of the L.A. market, working on multiple projects in the Miami area, as well as a pending adaptive reuse project in Dallas.

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