Following months of negotiations, the Ratkovich Company has once again scaled back plans to redevelop the vast surface parking lots adjacent to the Alhambra complex with new condominiums and apartments.
The Villages at The Alhambra, according to a staff report to the Alhambra City Council, now calls for the construction of 230 for-sale condominiums and 545 rental apartments in a series of multi-story buildings fronting Mission Road, Date Avenue, and Orange Street. As a proposed condition of approval, 75 of the apartments would be set aside for rent by households at the moderate-income level (up to 120 percent of the area median income).
Plans for 16 acres of open space across the site remain unchanged from the earlier iteration of the project, as are requirements to add new traffic signals and crosswalks at Date Avenue's intersections with Orange Street and Mission Road. Ratkovich will also be required to make a $1.5 million public benefits payment to the City of Alhambra, which would be spent at the discretion of the City Council.
Next Architecture's design for the Villages calls for breaking up the 20-acre campus by introducing new internal streets and pedestrian walkways, connecting the new housing and open space with the office campus to the west. The series of low-rise structures are expected to include townhome-style condominiums, as well as studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.
While the Villages would still rank among the largest new multifamily residential developments in Los Angeles County, the project has been downscaled from an original concept presented to the Alhambra Planning Commission in Summer 2020. Plans for more than 1,000 apartments and condominiums were cut to 839 residential units by the time the project first went before the City Council in February 2021. The latest reduction cuts 64 homes from the proposed development.
The revised plan amounts to an average density of 20.2 residential units per acre - less than one third the maximum density of 75 units per acre allowed by zoning.
A staff report to the Council recommends a continuance of consideration to an uncertain future date to allow additional negotiations with The Ratkovich Company.
The Villages, according to a project website, is moving through the approval process at a time when Alhambra is required by state law to plan for more than 6,800 new homes through the year 2029. The Alhambra is currently expected to be built over a roughly 10-year period, commencing with a new parking structure, which would be followed by a trio of wrap-style apartment buildings and then the new townhomes and condominiums.
The Downtown-based Ratkovich Company is also a partner on the $150-million West Harbor development on the San Pedro waterfront.
- The Villages at the Alhambra (Urbanize LA)