A presentation to the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board unveils new, larger plans for a mixed-use affordable housing development in the Pico neighborhood.

The project, called the Las Flores Apartments, is being developed by the Community Corp. of Santa Monica.  Plans call for razing a series of small commercial buildings to make way for a four-story edifice containing 73 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments featuring approximately 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space and one level of subterranean parking.

Designed by DE Architects, the proposed development is described as a "concept of solids and voids," with separate cubic forms used to give its facade texture.  The low-rise structure wraps around a central courtyard, with additional open space provided via terrace decks.

The non-profit organization had originally envisioned the project as a smaller three-story edifice featuring 55 apartments.  However, plans changed following the adoption of AB 1763, legislation sponsored by California State Assemblymember David Chiu which allows affordable housing projects to exceed certain local zoning restrictions.  In addition to increased height and density, the state bill also allowed Community Corp. to reduce the amount of proposed parking from 64 vehicle stalls in the original project to 54 in its new plan.

A staff report to the Architectural Review Board recommends that the Las Flores project should be approved.

Community Corp. is also developing a senior affordable housing development - the Greenway Meadows apartments - on a nearby property on 14th Street.

Another non-profit developer, EAH Housing, is planning an affordable development nearby at the former site of Santa Monica Nikkei Hall.

Interested in finding affordable housing? Visit housing.lacity.org.