An empty site acquired by Metro in conjunction with the Gold (L) line's Eastside extension more than a decade ago is poised to be redeveloped with affordable housing and retail space.

At a ceremony held on June 30, developer Abode Communities joined Metro and Los Angeles city officials to formally break ground on La Veranda, a mixed-use project which will rise at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Soto Street.  Plans call for the construction of two four-story buildings featuring 77 one-, two-, and three-bedroom above 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a parking garage.

Abode is also designing the apartment complex, while its open spaces are being designed by AHBE | MIG.  Plans call for a number of outdoor communal spaces, including a children's play area, a jogging path and a garden for residents.

Location of the La Veranda developmentGoogle Maps

According to Metro, half of the 76 income-restricted apartments will be reserved for formerly homeless persons.  The remainder will be set aside for households earning no more than 20 percent of the area median income.

La Veranda is being funded through a variety of public sources, including $2 million from Los Angeles County's affordable housing trust fund and more than $31 million in tax exempt bonds approved earlier this year by the City of Los Angeles.  The total budget for the project, estimated at nearly $63 million.  The relatively high cost has been attributed to a combination of factors, including plans for on-site parking, larger unit sizes, and the construction of two separate structures due to an alley bisecting the site.

In remarks during the ceremony, Abode's chief executive officer Robin Hughes described La Veranda as a representation of Metro's updated joint development policy, which places an increased focus on below market-rate housing in new developments on agency owned land.

“La Veranda aims to stabilize families and individuals who are living on the fringe in Boyle Heights,” said Hughes. “We are excited to partner with Metro to make this historic neighborhood a more equitable place to live – our homes are just a short walk to the Gold line, helping to make our city fairer and more sustainable.”

La Veranda is one of several joint developments associated with properties near the L Line, including new projects planned near the Mariachi Plaza and Soto Stations.  Abode Communities is partnering with Metro on another of those developments - a proposed 60-unit apartment complex with a grocery store and a pocket park one block east at Cesar Chavez and Fickett Street.

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