A proposal to redevelop two parking lots flanking Venice's Grand Canal with affordable and supportive housing is one step closer to reality, following a vote taken by the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

View from the grand canalEric Owen Moss Architects

After a lengthy hearing on May 27, the Commission voted to approve the construction of the Reese Davidson Community, a joint venture between Venice Community Housing and Hollywood Community Housing.  The project, which would rise from a site bounded by Venice Boulevard, Pacific Avenue, Canal Street, and Dell Avenue, would consist of low-rise structures containing 140 apartments, approximately 7,400 square feet of commercial space, and a 360-car parking garage serving residents and visitors to nearby Venice Beach.

Eric Owen Moss Architects is designing the development, which is depicted as a pair of sand-colored apartment buildings accompanied by rooftop decks, a side yard, and a community room.  Terraces would line the segment of the Grand Canal which cuts through the project site.

View from DellEric Owen Moss Architects

According to the Venice Community Housing website, the Reese Davidson Community will cater to formerly homeless households, low-income artists, and general low-income households.

The project's name honors Venice heritage, as well as a seminal figure in one of its co-developers.  Arthur Reese was the first African-American homeowner in the Venice community, while Rick Davidson was a co-founder of Venice Community Housing.

Plans also call for an on-site community to be named in honor the late actor and dancer Gregory Hines.

View from PacificEric Owen Moss Architects

The Reese Davidson's project was faced with opposition from an organization calling itself Venice Vision, which argued through a representative that the project should be subject to a full environmental impact report.  Additionally, the Commission fielded calls from dozens of Venice residents expressing opposition to the proposed development, lodging complaints about potential impacts to crime, public parking, and neighborhood character.

Venice Community Housing, which is leading the project, is also developing affordable and supportive apartment buildings on Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue.

Hollywood Community Housing, the partner organization, is currently building new income-restricted apartments in Harvard Heights.

Location of the Reese Davidson developmentCity of Los Angeles

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