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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
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Arts Colony Finally Flourishing in Glendale

Construction gets underway this month in Glendale on an innovative, $30 million project that will provide 70 units of affordable housing to struggling artists, actors and musicians. The five-story Glendale Arts Colony, at 121 N. Kenwood St., will include an underground parking garage with 151 parking spaces. It is expected to open in September 2016. The joint project of the city, the YMCA of Glendale and Meta Housing Corp. of West Los Angeles is being financed mostly by Bank of America with the YMCA contributing $5 million. Meta Housing has done two projects in the San Fernando Valley: the Burbank Senior Artists Colony in 2005 and the NoHo Senior Artists Colony in 2012. The project on the 2.2-acre prime downtown parcel was controversial when it won narrow approval from the City Council one year ago, with some criticizing the preferential treatment given artists in a city with little low-income housing. There are fewer than 1,300 units of affordable housing in the city of about 200,000, and two low-income apartment buildings on the YMCA property with 28 units were razed last December – and the residents relocated – to make way for the Arts Colony, said YMCA Chief Executive George Saikali. However, the original building on the site, a 1920s Spanish Revival that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, still houses 84 single-room-occupancy units for low-income people, he said. And the Arts Colony project will give local artists earning 60 percent or less of median area income preference for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units in an application process to be held next year. If demand from them does not fill the project, the units will be opened to general low-income applicants. Michelle E. Coulter, Meta Housing’s project manager for the Arts Colony, said limiting the building to artists enhances both the residents’ quality of life and the community that benefits from their output. “Given how behind California is in supplying it, all affordable housing is important, whether it be for seniors, families, people with special needs or terminal illness,” Coulter said. Making the project an artist colony was first discussed several years ago, when the city’s master plan established an arts and entertainment district that runs along Maryland Avenue between Wilson and Harvard. The area, populated by bars, theaters and live music venues, is anchored by the Alex Theatre and the Central Library. A trellised walkway will connect the ars district to the building, so pedestrians can access a 1,000-square-foot, ground-floor art gallery and performance space. The central garden will feature residents’ sculpture, and there will be a community room and computer lab, music and dance rehearsal rooms, art studios and a mess lab with sinks, pottery wheels and a kiln for ceramics. “We wanted to create a space where all the artists can produce their work and add vibrancy to the community,” said Michael Bohn, design director and senior principal at Studio One Eleven, the Long Beach architect on the project. Building Trade Summit Oaks, a 146,000-square-foot Valencia building that houses cochlear-implant maker Advanced Bionics, has been sold for $44 million as part of office portfolio purchase totaling $3.1 billion. Cole Corporate Income Trust Inc., a private real estate investment trust based in Phoenix, sold the 97-property portfolio to Select Income REIT of Newton, Mass. in a deal completed last month. The sale was part of a merger announced by the two investment companies last September. SIR acquired CCIT’s full which included 64 office and industrial net lease properties, as well as 23 health care properties. The deal included the assumption of approximately $298 million of mortgage debt. Advanced Bionics took a 10-year lease on the five-story Valencia property in 2009. The medical device company, founded in 1993 by Alfred E. Mann, was sold to Boston Scientific in 2004. That company sold it back to Mann in 2007, who then resold it to Sonova Holdings for $498 million. Staff Reporter Karen E. Klein can be reached at (818) 316-312 or kklein@sfvbj.com

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