Earlier this week, the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-0 to exempt  a proposed affordable housing complex in Pico-Union from further review under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Menlo Avenue streetscapeOttinger Architects

The project, which was filed last year with the Planning Department by Cypress Equity Investments (CEI), would rise from a property located at 1216-1224 S. Menlo Avenue - just northeast of the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.  The Brentwood-based developer intends to raze two existing structures to make way for a new six-story edifice featuring 128 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, while preserving a 110-year-old house as an amenity space for residents and offices for on-site service providers.

The project is, which was approved in January by the Planning Department, was entitled with Transit Oriented Communities affordable housing incentives permitting increased density and floor area.  The incentives also permit apartment complex to be built without on-site parking, although CEI plans a three-car garage as part of the development.

Ottinger Architects is designing the Menlo Avenue project, which would be clad in a combination of white plaster and metal.  Planned on-site amenities include a rear yard, a courtyard, a community room, and multiple rooftop decks.

1216-1224 S Menlo AvenueGoogle Maps

The project site is located immediately north of the Menlo Family Housing, a similar affordable housing complex which opened in 2013.  Vermont Manzanita, a permanent supportive housing development, opened one block west on Vermont Avenue in 2015.

Cypress Equity Investment's other Los Angeles-area projects have largely consisted of market-rate and mixed-income apartment buildings, many built as joint ventures with Century West Partners.  The company is now building a 44-unit development on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica and is seeking approvals for the construction of a 176-unit apartment complex on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park.

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