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Los Angeles Affordable Housing Update!

June 13, 2012

A shot from the ArtPlace grant announcement: Keith McNutt, Actors Fund; Olga Garay-English, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Jessica Wethington-McLean, Bringing Back Broadway and Council Member José Huizar, Scott Weiner, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation; Teri Deaver, Artspace; Tim Halbur, Artplace; Travis Preston, California Institute of the Arts; and Aileen Adams, Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The last few weeks have been incredibly exciting for the Broadway Arts Center project in downtown Los Angeles, for which The Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation (AFHDC) has been playing a critical role. On June 5, AFHDC announced the formalization of a new partnership with the Minneapolis-based Artspace as part of the project, which hopes to create a mixed-use development comprising a black box theater, art gallery, creative commercial space and affordable housing for artists. And to further underscore the project’s viability, ArtPlace (a new national collaboration of 11 major national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks, and eight federal agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, dedicated to transforming communities with strategic investments in the arts) announced on June 12 that the Broadway Arts Center will receive $470,000 – the largest national grant to be awarded.

Artspace and AFHDC have been working together for the last year and a half as part of the group of organizations studying the viability of the Broadway Arts Center, including the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural AffairsCalifornia Institute of the Arts, Bringing Back Broadway and Pritzker prize winning architect Thom Mayne and Morphosis Architects. In addition to public input meetings and focus groups, the organizations oversaw comprehensive arts market surveys and an affordable housing/commercial market study, a summary and initial results of which are available at http://creativespacela.org/. Funded through a grant from the NEA Mayor’s Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative, they found tremendous need for affordable space for artists, arts organizations and creative businesses in Downtown Los Angeles.
In addition to the exciting new ArtSpace/AFHDC partnership, the ArtPlace grant will bring the dream of the Broadway Arts Center closer to reality, and it was one of only four projects selected in downtown LA (the others were SCI-Arc, Cornerstone Theater, and Esperanza Housing Corp.). The next steps in the process of creating the Broadway Arts Center include site selection and evaluation, and while a timeline for completion of the project has not yet been finalized, Artspace (which has developed 30 properties around the country) believes projects of this nature can take anywhere from three to six years.
Visit our website for more on AFHDC, to find out how The Fund can help you find affordable housing, and for more on The Fund’s existing affordable housing projects, including New York’s The Schermerhorn and Dorothy Ross Friedman Residence, and Los Angeles’s Palm View.
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