A local developer specializing in hotels is now getting into the affordable housing business.

Last week, an entity affiliated with Los Angeles-based Relevant Group submitted an application to the Department of City Planning to redevelop a commercial structure and surface parking lot at 407 E. 5th Street.  Plans call for the construction of a 150-unit apartment building priced for low- and very low-income households.

Requested entitlements including streamlined permitting - as allowed by SB 35 - as well as increased floor area and reduced open space in accordance with the Greater Downtown Housing Incentive Area.

The L.A. Business Journal reported earlier this year that the project is the result of Relevant Group's proposed redevelopment of the Morrison Hotel at Pico Boulevard and Hope Street.  As the property had a single room occupancy covenant, Relevant was required to build replacement housing within the same geographic area as the Morrison.

Relevant, though its affiliate RMOD, has elected to pursue the development of 407-413 E. 5th Street using prefabricated modular units, with the hope of producing affordable housing at a lower cost than $500,000 per apartment.  A rendering depicts the project as a contemporary eight-story structure.

Steinberg Hart is the architect of the 5th Street development.

The Business Journal reported that construction is anticipated to begin in Fall 2019.

Just east of the project site, the Downtown Women's Center has secured a parking lot at the intersection of 5th and San Pedro Streets for the construction of an affordable housing project, and at 609 E. 5th Street, Skid Row Housing Trust is planning a 14-story building with an addition 150 low-income units.

With labor and material costs continuing to balloon in Los Angeles, several developers have turned to prefabricated units to speed construction.  This includes a 111-unit development in Leimert Park that was assembled in just five days, and an 11-story, 315-room citizenM Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, which is expected to open in mid-2020 - roughly one year after breaking ground.

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