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LOS ANGELES-MJW Investments and Phoenix Realty Group have closed escrow on the $92 million second phase of the Santee Village loft project, which will total 445 housing units and 66,000 sf of retail space when all three phases are completed. The 216-unit second phase that MJW and Phoenix will develop will include 23,500 sf of retail space.

The MJW-Phoenix second phase, which will consist of for-sale units, follows a first phase that included 165 loft apartments and 40,000 sf of retail space. The project is a conversion of office and light industrial buildings at 738 and 746 S. Los Angeles St. and 743 Santee St.

Phoenix Realty Group is providing its equity investment in the project via its $103-million Genesis Workforce Housing Fund. The fund provides equity financing to create for-sale market-rate housing for middle-income households.

MJW is targeting “the growing number of workers seeking shorter commutes” and the urban life style that is gaining popularity in downtown LA, says Mark Weinstein, founder of MJW Investments. It’s also aimed at creating for-sale housing that is affordable to first-time buyers who are priced out of suburban areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties, notes Keith Rosenthal, president of Phoenix Realty Group.

Jay Stark, PRG’s western region managing director, identifies those prospective buyers as office workers, fire fighters, police officers, teachers and others whose incomes are at or below 150% of the area’s median income of $55,100 for a family of four, or approximately $83,000 a year. The project, which has been designated a historical and cultural monument by the City of Los Angeles, will transform garment manufacturing buildings that were constructed between 1913 and 1920.

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