Following a Spring 2022 request for proposals, the City of Beverly Hills is preparing to move forward with plans to bring senior affordable housing to a publicly-owned site located just east of its civic center.
At its meeting on September 12, the Beverly Hills City Council voted to enter into an exclusive negotiation agreement with non-profit developer West Hollywood Community Housing Corp. (WHCHC) for the 1.5-acre property at 9268-9298 W. 3rd Street. WHCHC was one of 13 respondents which submitted 27 different proposals for seven city-owned sites as part of the RFP process. Other finalists included Related California, Abode Communities, and Bridge Housing.
The winning submission, which is still subject to change as it proceeds through the review and outreach process, would replace existing improvements to the project site, which includes two small commercial buildings and their parking lots. Plans call for a two-phase development consisting of a six-story structure featuring 252 one-bedroom apartments, reserved for households earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income level. The nearly 170,000-square-foot development would also include 3,300 square feet of commercial uses, 45,000 square feet of open space, and parking for 265 vehicles.
SPF:architects designed the conceptual proposal, which would include a rooftop deck and two levesl of subterranean parking.
WHCHC has proposed that the project be broken into two phases for financing purposes, with an initial phase of 153 apartments and a second phase of 99 apartments. According to a staff report, the conceptual proposal assumes a $1.8 million funding gap, which would at least be partially covered by the City of Beverly Hills.
A staff presentation to the Council indicated that initial outreach to residents surrounding the site at 3rd Street and Foothill Road had elicited opposition to an affordable development on the property. However, the City Council unanimously expressed support for affordable housing on the site, though all members of the body noted that community members would have time to shape the project through the outreach process.
The exclusive negotiation period between the city and WHCHC will run for an initial term of one year, with an option for a six-month extension.
Beverly Hills, which has found itself at odds with state regulators over its housing element, has struggled to identify sites for affordable housing development within its boundaries. That impasses has opened the city up to the "Builder's Remedy," a previously little-known provision of state law through which residential developers are able to sidestep certain zoning rules in cities with non-compliant housing elements.
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