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Mirandela Senior Apartments in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California by Withee Malcolm Architects
November 20th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Withee Malcolm Architects
Located on a hillside site with views across the rolling landscape to downtown Los Angeles, the development features 34 apartments designed in a Mediterranean architectural style that fits comfortably into the surrounding neighborhood.
Creating an affordable housing development for the affluent community of Rancho Palos Verdes required a consistent, multi-year effort by the city, the developer, and the architect. Recognizing the need for affordable housing was tough to swallow for the city. Numerous meetings involving the city council, AMCAL, the developer, and the architect helped demonstrate that with a quarter of the city’s population over 55 and statistics revealing that a number of residents were paying more than they could afford, not only should affordable housing be built, but that it would be an asset to the community.
Withee Malcolm worked diligently to make certain that the design more than met the quality standards of the community. The development required a number of entitlements, including a general plan amendment, zoning change, density bonus, and tax credits, as well as considerable patience.
The recently completed project with its residential scale, inviting gathering spaces, and high level of detail, delivers affordability with style and grace for local seniors who might have otherwise had to leave the community. Design features include tile roofs, a courtyard, a fountain, iron gates and balconies, decorative tile and extensive landscaping.
Mirandela is a 100% affordable project that is available to qualified seniors who earn between 30% and 60% of the area median income. Five percent of the apartments are currently built as accessible units to tenants who are disabled or in wheelchairs, while the remaining apartments are constructed as adaptable units that can be converted as tenants age.
Community amenities include a barbecue and seating area with trellis and gazebo, a 1,400-square-foot community clubhouse, computer lab and media room. Mirandela residents will also have access to a variety of free services, including personal finance classes, computer training and wellness activities courtesy of LifeSteps, a non-profit provider of social services for residents of work force housing in California.
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