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The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA’s latest transit-oriented resi projects are in Koreatown, Silver Lake

The projects total 99 units, including nine set aside for affordable
By Dennis Lynch | May 11, 2018 03:14PM

4658 W. Melrose Avenue

Developers are planning to build a pair of multifamily projects utilizing Transit-Oriented Communities bonuses in Koreatown and Silver Lake, City Planning records show.

Westside-based developer John Safi of Safco Capital Corp filed to demolish a two-story strip mall at 4658 W. Melrose Avenue to build a six-story, 66-unit project. Half a dozen units will be set aside for “extremely low-income” tenants. The site is near a 36-unit multifamily that Safco purchased in February for $15.2 million.

Safi filed through a limited liability company called Ardmore Capital LLC, which includes Safco as an officer.

Multifamily developers in Los Angeles who want to benefit from the city’s Transit-Oriented Communities program must set aside between 8 and 25 percent of the units they build for low-income residents.

The Koreatown project is eligible for Tier 2 TOC incentives and Safi seeks a 60 percent density bonus, a parking reduction, and an increase in floor-area-ratio. The TOC program allows developers certain bonuses and other incentives in exchange for incorporating affordable housing into their projects near major transit options.

In Silver Lake, an unknown developer filed for a 33-unit project with four units set aside for very low-income renters at 1032 N. Coronado Street. That project qualifies for more significant bonuses. The developer is filing for a 70 percent density bonus and a reduction in setbacks.

Since the TOC program was introduced in September, dozens of developers have taken advantage of the bonus system. Most developers file for the bare minimum number of affordable units to qualify for the program, but a handful of developers have built entirely affordable projects. An estimated 2,000 units have been added under the program. Around 10-15 percent of those qualify as affordable.