Skid Row Housing Trust pursues first project in South LA

Nonprofit plans 90 permanent supportive apartments, its debut complex south of I-10

Skid Row Housing Trust Joanne Cordero and renderings of 800 W. 85th Street, Los Angeles
Skid Row Housing Trust Joanne Cordero and renderings of 800 W. 85th Street, Los Angeles (Gensler, Skid Row Housing Trust)

Skid Row Housing Trust seeks to build a 90-unit complex for formerly homeless residents in South Los Angeles.

The nonprofit developer, based in Downtown L.A., has filed plans to build the four-story building at 800 West 85th Street, Urbanize Los Angeles reported. It would replace a vacant lot.

The permanent supportive housing complex, dubbed Ambrosia, would rise at 85th and Hoover streets, north of Manchester Avenue. It appears to be the first Skid Row Housing project in South L.A. below the 10 Freeway, according to its website.

It would consist of a 47-foot-tall modular building with 90 studio and two-bedroom apartments reserved for formerly homeless persons and families.

The L-shaped building, designed by Gensler of San Francisco, would be covered in dramatic diagonal slats, with smooth stucco facing a landscaped courtyard, according to renderings. Terrace insets and outdoor stairways would be highlighted in yellow.

The apartments would include 6,100 square feet of common outdoor space, plus a community room, meeting area, offices for staff, a laundry facility and parking for 14 cars.

About $1.7 million in Section 8 vouchers would be sought each year to cover operations, according to the L.A. Housing Department.

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In 2020, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved $12.1 million in No Place Like Home funds for Ambrosia as part of $42 million toward five permanent supportive housing projects.

At the time, the cost of the Ambrosia project was estimated at $44.7 million.

Skid Row Housing, founded in 1989, now has 26 supportive housing complexes for 1,800 formerly homeless residents across the city, from renovated hotels on Skid Row to new apartments from Downtown to the San Fernando Valley, according to its website. 

Projects in the pipeline include a 160-unit supportive housing complex in Long Beach to a 64-unit complex in Van Nuys.

In 2020, the organization filed plans to build a 150-unit supportive housing tower at 609-623 East 5th Street on Skid Row — made almost entirely of wood. The 14-story tower, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, aims to serve as a model for affordable projects across the state.

— Dana Bartholomew

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