May 31, 2017— Meta Housing Corporation has completed ACE/121, a 70-unit affordable apartment community for artists and their families in Glendale, California.
The new apartment community integrates a variety of art amenities and was developed in partnership with the City of Glendale, the YMCA of Glendale and Western Community Housing, Inc.
“This project will support the ongoing revitalization of the region and serve as a catalyst for a designated Art & Entertainment district in Glendale,” says Kasey Burke, President of Meta Housing. “In many cases, defining an Arts District can lead to gentrification and rent increases that drive artists out. However, the City of Glendale sought out a partner that could deliver a unique artistic experience while preserving affordability, which is exactly what we provided.”
ACE/121 is Meta Housing’s fifth Arts Colony project in Los Angeles, and its second to be open to non-senior residents.
“We first began integrating the arts into our senior apartment communities,” he says. “We found that in doing so we could create environments that encourage creativity, collaboration, and engagement among residents. This concept has since expanded into our other projects and serves as a catalyst for community development, connecting residents and the surrounding communities through art.”
Constructed on a 54,000 square-foot YMCA-owned site, the five-story ACE/121 apartment community incorporates an 800 square-foot professional-caliber art gallery, a visual arts room, a makerspace, two music rooms, and a dance studio, among many other amenities.
Chris Maffris, Senior Vice President at Meta Housing explains, “In addition to long-term affordable housing, artists need spaces for exhibition, collaboration, and creation, and tools for production. ACE/121 provides these. The art spaces belong to the tenants. The gallery is the tenants’ art collective. We’re very excited to see what this Civitas (a tenant-coined name for the gallery) produces.”
Financing for the project was provided by the City of Glendale Housing Authority, which provided $6.1 million, as well as Greystone & Co., and Bank of America, who served as the tax credit equity investor.
Charmaine Atherton, Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch says, “This is our 13th of 15 projects in partnership with Meta Housing, and we continue to find significant value in our work together. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is committed to investments that deliver deep social benefits to communities at large. By seamlessly integrating the arts into this state-of-the-art development, we are able to support a burgeoning arts community and ensure that residents enjoy access to much-needed high-quality affordable housing.”
ACE/121 is located at 121 N. Kenwood Street in Glendale, California, and marks the 18th affordable housing project the City of Glendale has sponsored in the last 12 years. It is comprised of affordable one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans. In addition to its arts amenities, the apartment community also features a computer lab, tutoring area, and a tot lot.
The community was designed by the architects at Studio One Eleven of Long Beach, California. Non-profit organization EngAGE will serve as arts and programming service coordinator for the project.