LOS ANGELES — When it comes to building new apartments and housing in and around Los Angeles, it usually falls into two categories: luxury and affordable.
Developers often build luxury housing because the cost of land, permitting, construction, supplies and labor make it the most financially feasible way to earn some profit.
Affordable housing developers often rely on tax credits, incentives or grants to fund the development.
However, the middle class and blue-collar workers often are left out, said Eddie Lorin, CEO of Alliant Strategic Development.
"That's why you have so many blue-collar workers commuting one hour, two hours each way to their jobs," said Lorin to Spectrum News.
"We feel like the middle class is being forgotten," said Juan Aguilar, chief investment officer at Alliant Strategic. "They deserve housing like everybody else."
On Wednesday, Alliant Strategic aims to provide the much-needed housing for the so-called "missing middle."
The Calabasas-based real estate development firm is breaking ground on four new projects totaling more than 700 units for the middle-income population in the San Fernando Valley.
The $300 million projects include:
- Sync on Canoga — 220 one-bedroom apartment homes at 7019 Canoga Ave. in Canoga Park
- Pendant on Topanga — 149 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment homes at 7322 Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Canoga Park
- Vose — 332 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment homes at 7050 Van Nuys Blvd. in Van Nuys
- Cadence at Noho — 26 one- and two-bedroom apartment homes at 5633 Farmdale Ave. in North Hollywood
State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Kevin Keller and other officials will be at the groundbreaking at 7019 Canoga Ave.
Lorin said the properties were former industrial sites and offices that were re-zoned.
Alliant Strategic expects to complete the developments in the fourth quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025.
About 20%, or 144 units, are designated as affordable housing or for those making up 50% or less of the area’s median income.
Lorin said the rest of the units would be priced about 20% below market rate.
Lorin said while the development is for blue-collar and middle-income workers, it will have plenty of amenities and luxuries throughout the four separate properties.
Each property will have energy-efficient stainless steel kitchen appliances, an in-unit washer/dryer, and stone countertops. Officials said there’d be on-site fitness centers, rooftop decks, electric vehicle charging stations, a pool and spa, and outdoor lounge areas.
The four projects are also within walking distance of mass transits.
Bonds from the California Municipal Finance Authority and California Housing Finance Agency are helping finance the projects. The projects are also taking advantage of the federal opportunity zone program and the city of Los Angeles’ Transit Oriented Communities program, which incentivizes developers who build affordable housing near mass transit stations.
“By being creative and using a variety of financing vehicles and incentives, it is possible to deliver brand new Class A product that doesn’t place a severe burden on the working class,” said Lorin. “And these four projects are examples of our ability to do that.”
As the city and the U.S. grapple with how to build more affordable housing for working-class families, Alliant Strategic’s 700-unit projects prove you can build high-quality housing without catering to the luxury housing market, Aguilar noted.
“At the end of the day, we want to build thriving communities,” said Aguilar.