Finalist: Best Affordable Apartment Community (Over 100 Units)
Nominated by: The Michaels Organization
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Developer: The Michaels Organization
Architect: SVA Architects
General Contractor: WPIC Construction
Photographer: The Michaels Organization
Project Website: Jordan Downs
Jordan Downs is The Michaels Organization’s redevelopment of an outdated 1950s-era low-rise public housing development in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Michaels, along with partners BRIDGE Housing and The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), are actively transforming this historic development into a vibrant, mixed-used, mixed-income urban village, most recently completing the second phase (Phase 1B) in 2019. Built for factory workers during WWII, Jordan Downs was converted to low-income housing in the 1950s. It weathered the crack cocaine epidemic and gang warfare that decimated South Los Angeles but has been neglected for years. Today, Jordan Downs is experiencing an energizing revitalization, complete with the development of multiple public green spaces as well as a community center, the construction of a brand-new retail center, and many new community programs designed to enrich the lives of the people of Jordan Downs. When fully complete, Jordan Downs will offer some 1,400 new affordable homes to existing and new residents. Units range from one to five bedrooms, and all of the apartments are affordable to families at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI). All units are supported by either the Rental Assistance Demonstration program or Section 8 project-based subsidies administered by HACLA. There is a total of eight phases planned for delivery. Since completing Phase 1B this past year, Michaels has recently achieved financial closing for Phase S3, with plans for the fourth phase currently in design. The success of Jordan Downs would not have been possible without Michaels’ commitment to transparency: including the residents of Jordan Downs in the development process to ensure their needs and wants were met in design, paying due diligence to the historical significance of the neighborhood, and respecting the longtime residents and families.