In response to recent requests for proposals, the City of Beverly Hills is taking significant steps to address its affordable housing shortage. At its meeting on Sept. 12, 2023, the Beverly Hills City Council made a pivotal decision by selecting West Hollywood Community Housing Corp., a non-profit developer, for an exclusive negotiation agreement concerning a 1.5-acre publicly-owned property located just east of the city’s civic center. This landmark development aims to introduce senior affordable housing into a prime urban location.
The proposed development, which would be located at 9268-9298 W. 3rd St., envisions a two-phase project that will replace existing structures, including two small commercial buildings and their respective parking lots. The first phase will consist of 153 apartments, with an additional 99 apartments in the second phase. The development will feature a six-story structure, offering a total of 252 one-bedroom apartments, with eligibility based on households earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income level. In addition to residential units, the nearly 170,000 square-foot project will incorporate 3,300 square feet of commercial space, 45,000 square feet of open green areas and parking for 265 vehicles.
To facilitate financing for the project, WCHC has proposed breaking it into two phases. An initial phase of 153 apartments is planned, with a second phase consisting of 99 apartments. A staff report indicates that the conceptual proposal anticipates a $1.8 million funding gap, which is expected to be partially covered by the City of Beverly Hills.
The decision to partner with WCHC came after an extensive evaluation of 13 respondents who submitted a total of 27 distinct proposals for seven city-owned sites in response to the RFP. The other finalists in the selection process included industry players such as Related California, Abode Communities and Bridge Housing. WCHC’s winning submission, though still subject to refinement during the review and outreach phases, stood out for its comprehensive approach to addressing the city’s housing needs.
Initial outreach to residents in the vicinity of the project site revealed some opposition to the idea of affordable housing in the area. However, the City Council unanimously expressed its support for affordable housing at this location, emphasizing that community input would play a pivotal role in shaping the project during the outreach process. This commitment to collaboration ensures that the development meets both the city’s housing needs and the expectations of its residents.
The exclusive negotiation period between the City of Beverly Hills and WCHC will extend for an initial term of one year, with an option for a six-month extension.