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[IMGCAP(1)]LOS ANGELES-Developers of three new projects in the Los Angeles area have added 195 new units to the region’s multifamily inventory. The three new complexes include two apartment projects and one lofts development for a total of 111 apartments and 84 condominiums. The projects are the 49-unit Rayen Apartments developed by the non-profits A Community of Friends and Penny Lane Centers in North Hills, the 62-unit [email protected] developed by NMS Properties in Santa Monica and the 84-unit TLofts development in West Los Angeles, a project of Lee Homes and CityView.

[IMGCAP(2)]Rayen Apartments is a $15.1 million affordable housing development at 15320 Rayen St. in North Hills with supportive services and is one of the first projects in the state designed to serve emancipated foster youth, a highly at-risk population, nearly half of whom end up homeless. It is also one of the first to be funded by the City of Los Angeles Permanent Supportive Housing program, which provided $4.5 million in financing for the project. Other financing included $10.4 million from low-income housing tax credit equity, with the balance coming from A Community of Friends and Union Bank providing a $4.4 million construction loan.

[IMGCAP(3)]The four-story Rayen building comprises 21 studios, five one-bedroom units, eight two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom units. The project site was a vacant 1.13-acre property that had been used as parking for Penny Lane Centers, a provider of social services for foster care youth.

The [email protected] is a six-story project at Colorado Avenue and Fourth Street in the center of Downtown Santa Monica that features 30 floor plans in penthouses, two-story lofts, single-story and studio units ranging from 435 to 1025 square feet, with rents starting at $1,740 and peaking at $3,580 for penthouses. Neil Shekhter, president of NMS Properties, says that the many floor plans demonstrate that the firm’s new development “is definitely not a cookie-cutter building where everyone’s apartment looks like its neighbor’s.” A major effort has been extended to attract tenants who place a premium on individuality, notes Shekhter, who also developed the Olympic Studios, a project composed solely of 375 square-foot units.

The designer for [email protected] was Santa Monica-based Killefer Flammang Architects (KFA), which also designed Olympic Studios. The project site is across from Santa Monica Place at the city civic and commercial core, which includes the Third Street Promenade and the forthcoming Expo line that will terminate at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, about 40 feet from the project.

Lise Bornstein, a KFA Associate, points out that the design features “echo the urban environment.” For example, the two-story penthouse units, with floor-to-ceiling window-walls, provide a high-rise impression. To enhance the views and for entertaining purposes, many of the units have large balconies or terraces of up to 230 square feet. In addition to the residences, there are two levels of underground parking and retail convenience facilities are planned for the street-level, according to KFA.

The TLofts development consists of one- and two-story lofts ranging from 943 to 2,050 square feet with one to three bedrooms and up to three baths, at prices starting at $415,000. Designed by architect Withee Malcolm, the project is situated at 11500 Tennessee Ave., a block off the Olympic Boulevard commercial corridor and a couple of blocks west of Sawtelle Boulevard. The ground floor includes six work/live spaces with street frontage and access, and a conference center will also be available for all residents.

Lee Homes, a Los Angeles-based developer, describes the development as an eco-friendly community that is an Energy Star-certified building and “the only large project in L.A. to offer charging stations for electric cars–there are currently 18 dedicated stations.” The project features secure, gated underground parking of two spaces per unit, plus ample guest parking. Other features include a landscaped courtyard, a spa and a barbeque area, a community workout area/gym, a dog park and a view deck.

The complex is within walking distance of bus stops and near the planned Exposition Light Rail Line, which will run parallel with I-10 along Pico Boulevard from Downtown to Culver City when completed in mid-2010. The developer also notes that residents can walk to retail services, restaurants, entertainment venues, the post office, banks, Stoner Recreation Center & Park or bike to the beach.

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