Cypress Senior Living, Glendale, CA

COMMUNITY

Goal: Execute CDP’s first 9% LIHTC project in California by converting a blighted unreinforced masonry building in the heart of an Armenian community into a vibrant housing community for the elderly.

Located in the bustling urban City of Glendale in Los Angeles County, Cypress Senior Living is one of CDP’s first projects and the first to have a Veterans set aside.  Completed in 2014, the major renovation of this older brick masonry building represented the opportunity to provide critically needed housing to the senior population in Glendale.  Consisting of studio and one bedroom units, the renovation encompassed a substantial renovation of the interior of the units, the building systems, and the exterior to create a healthier living environment.  Although on a small urban lot, the project included reclaiming an unutilized rear dirt yard space through a partnership with The Ecology Center whereby a community garden and outdoor recreation and bbq space was created.  The garden boxes, Mediterranean inspired planting palette, and the edible planting around the balance of the site create a unique opportunity for the residents to connect with the source of food. The interior of the building includes a small community room, book share library, and original artwork.

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DEVELOPMENT

Cypress Senior Living represents CDP ability to turn constraints into opportunities and to exercise creative vision in the repositioning of an underutilized asset in the community.  Through a partnership with the City of Glendale’s Housing Authority Cypress Senior Living is more than just a standalone CDP project; CDP was able to secure competitive 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits which allowed for not only a significant renovation but also for the permanent low rents serving elderly residents making 40%-60% of the Area Median Income and providing dedicated units for Veterans.  This project came to fruition after two rounds of competing for the tax credit financing thanks in part to a patient Seller and tepid market.

Opportunities
Strong support and funding of HOME funds from the City of Glendale Housing Authority
Patient Seller in a market that was still soft
Beautiful historical building and underutilized outdoor space

Constraints
Blighted condition of the building having been neglected for decades
Unreinforced masonry needed to be seismically retrofitted
Small project scale left little room for error

Data
Number of Units: 18
Lot Size: 0.25 acres
Density: 72 units/acre
Unit Size: 344-672ft2
Unit Mix: 14 Studios, 4 1BD/1BA
Parking Spaces: 10
Affordability: 30%-60% AMI
Financing: 9% LIHTC, HOME Funds
Sustainability: Green Point Rated
Architect: Egan Simon
Contractor: ICON Builders
Property Management: FPI
Non-Profit Partner: Integrity Housing
Total Cost: $4,767,441
Cost Per Unit:  $264,857

Sources
9% LIHTC Equity $2,759,406
Perm Loan $500,000
HOME Funds $1,447,523
Deferred Developer Fee $60,512

Uses
Acquisition $2,100,000
Construction $1,334,673
Development $1,332,768

PARTNERS

CDP is proud to partner with these organizations, dedicated to bettering the lives not only of The Huntington’s residents, but of those lower-income residents in surrounding communities.

 

The Ecology Center
The Ecology Center was tasked with turning the lemons into lemonade by creating a design to transform a small rear yard and ancillary areas into a thriving living ecosystem that created an area of refuge, recreation, and inspired consciousness for the residents.  Small and mighty in every sense of the saying. The space is no longer a small dirt rectangle but is now occupied by productive and beneficial plants. There is an herb garden, fruit trees, natives that attract pollinators, culturally specific plants, and garden boxes for growing veggies and other edibles.

 

Art From The Ashes
In our first partnership with Art From The Ashes we sought to replace the typical off the shelf generic art that would be used to decorate the common area spaces and instead to have AFTA curate original artwork from local and regional artists.  We wanted to both support the local arts community by purchasing work from artists and also to create a connection and enhance pride of place for our residents.

Chelsea Hover
CDP tapped a long time friend of Kyle and Eric Paine to paint a mural that would be inspired by conversations with the Veteran residents of the community.  Chelsea was able to to turn a bland wall in the parking lot of Cypress into a beautiful symbol of community and appreciation for the dedication of the Vets that serve our country.

EMBRACE (Establishing Meaningful Balanced Relationships Around Community Experience)
Onsite EMBRACE connects residents to services in the community and facilitates their access to governmental programs. Additionally, coordinators provide onsite services tailored to the specific needs of the residents. Embrace’s skilled coordinators assess residents’ goals, evaluate available resources, and offer a variety of educational, recreational, and social activities. Classes geared to financial fitness, computer literacy, English as a Second Language (the majority of Cypress Senior Living residents speak Armenian as their first language), health, nutrition, and fitness are popular.