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WILMINGTON, CA-Mercy Housing of Denver and the Los Angeles Community Design Center have kicked off a new development that will replace the outdated and dilapidated former Dana Strand World War II housing complex with 413 units of affordable low-income and senior housing. The developers broke ground on the project Monday at the Dana Strand site, where demolition efforts on the old public housing project took place some time ago.Jane Graf, regional president of Mercy Housing, says the national nonprofit organization will redevelop the Dana Strand property into “service-enriched housing for low-income families and seniors” at the site of the former public housing project. She calls it a “mixed-income, mixed-use community” that will be affordable to a wide range of households.Robin Hughes, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Design Center, says the developers are hoping that the revitalization effort will attract capital and investment into the historically neglected Dana Strand neighborhood. The development will consists of a 120-unit garden apartment complex, a 116-unit town-home project, 100 units of HUD 202 senior housing and 77 for-sale, single-family homes.The 236 multifamily rental units are being built in two phases. Phase I involves construction of 120 garden-style units, and Phase II involves construction of the 116 townhouse style units. In addition to the housing, the development will include a 10,000-sf “Life Long Learning Center,” which will be designed as a learning and community meeting resource for the entire neighborhood.Construction on all phases of the development is expected to be finished by 2008. Union Bank of California has invested $21 million in tax credit equity toward the development of the Garden Apartments.

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