A presentation scheduled for this week's meeting of the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board offers a look at updated plans for a new affordable housing complex planned a short walk from both Bergamot Station and 17th Street/SMC Station.
The project, slated to replace a cluster of industrial buildings located at 1634 W. 20th Street, is being developed by the Los Angeles-based non-profit Venice Community Housing Corp. (VCHC). Plans call for the construction of a new seven-story edifice featuring 78 apartments above subterranean parking for 26 vehicles. Plans call for a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom dwellings ranging from 450 to 900 square feet in size.
Atelier Cory Henry is designing the project, with KFA Architecture serving as architect of record. The project is of a contemporary style, primarily stucco with fiber cement accent panels. Architectural plans show an O-shaped footprint, wrapping a central courtyard. Other amenities and open spaces would include a community room, and additional landscaped spaces at the third floor and rooftop.
A staff report to the Architectural Review Board is largely complimentary of the project, highlighting the use of angled geometry at the base to create a terrace deck overlooking the Metro right-of-way and adjacent bikeway. However, its initial concept review before the Board in March pointed to several areas targeted for improvement, including the building's window pattern, color and material, and further development to the landscape design.
The staff report recommends nonetheless recommends that the Board should approve the project, albeit with conditions to explore a more detailed landscape design and to reconsider the use of stucco on the building's exterior.
VCHC, the developer, is behind plans for several affordable and supportive housing developments in the Venice community, including a new project which would replace a public parking lot just east of Venice Beach. The firm recently broke ground on a new ground-up development on Lincoln Boulevard.