Developer plans all-affordable complex in South LA

Manager’s quarters lone exception for five-story, 42-unit project by Stelee Industries

Rendering of 314/324 West 45th St, Los Angeles (PQNK, iStock)
Rendering of 314/324 West 45th St, Los Angeles (PQNK, iStock)

A developer filed plans to build a five-story affordable housing complex atop a currently vacant lot in South L.A.

The project is an initiative of Steel Industries, an L.A.-based commercial developer and property management firm led by Steve Lee, who has been active in L.A. real estate for roughly three decades and is working with the Downtown L.A.-based architectural firm PQNK on the 300 block of West 45th Street.

The development stems from a larger deal Stelee struck in May of 2019, according to records. The firm picked up an adjacent parcel, at 4511 South Broadway, for $3.8 million at the time. Stelee bought the parcels through an LLC; the seller was the People Coordinated Services of Southern California, a nonprofit agency that works with seniors.

Stelee filed its project plans early this month, with an eye on building a five-story, 42-unit apartment building with high ceilings, a second floor courtyard and third-floor roof deck. The building’s roof will feature solar panels, and the design will “provide landscape area on the ground level as much as possible” in a bid to allow stormwater to permeate the surface area.

The 41,000-square-foot project is seeking exemptions under L.A.’s Transit Oriented Communities program, which offers density and other zoning exemptions for projects located near public transit. The building would be reserved entirely for affordable housing, except for one unit reserved for a manager.

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The plans represent more activity for South LA, a region of the city that was often overlooked for years: Last month, a different developer proposed a five-story build in the neighborhood of Central Alameda, and CIM Group has also recently proposed a flurry of plans for the area.

The City of Los Angeles more recently announced plans for a linear park and recreation center at Slauson and Normandie avenues, about two miles from Stelee’s project.

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