Hope on Alvarado – Market Drivers: The New Faces of Residential Living

Multi-Housing News

June 6, 2018

From site location and construction financing to lease-up and then—fast forward 20 years—renovation and rebranding, the lifecycle stages of a multifamily asset remain largely the same from decade to decade. But when it comes to design decisions and pulling together an innovative team, some developers are more daring than others.

You might not remember the very first green apartment building. Or the first affordable housing project venture that found a way to deliver market rate finishes. However, multifamily assets that don’t explore innovation in architecture and design may have trouble leasing up and retaining residents. Even more important than being first to market is the ability to recognize an exciting new direction and run with it.

The following case studies are just a few standouts from the many innovative multifamily projects currently on the boards or already open for business. What makes these projects stand out? What challenges did the designers need to overcome? Here’s the latest in micro living, affordable housing and more.


Project: Hope on Alvarado

Location: Los Angeles

Developer: Aedis Real Estate Group

Architect: KTGY Architecture + Planning

Completion: 2018

Despite the fact that it’s a huge problem nationwide, Los Angeles has become the poster child for America’s homelessness crisis. Aedis Real Estate Group wants to change that with a new concept using shipping containers as a primary building material. Located at 166 S. Alvarado St. in the Westlake district, west of Downtown Los Angeles, Hope on Alvarado is the first in this new series of area developments. Upon completion, the affordable community will also provide much needed support services for people transitioning from homelessness.

In addition to providing architectural character, leveraging shipping containers allows for accelerated construction. Hope on Alvarado will take only six months to build, with construction expected to be completed this year. This will be the first of several Hope developments in Los Angeles to come online in the next 12 months.

This is our first foray into shipping container construction,” said Keith Labus, principal in the Irvine office of KTGY Architecture + Planning. Labus describes the aesthetic as shipping container chic. “There’s a lot of inherent character in the corrugated steel texture so we made that an integral part of the design,” he explains. “On future projects, you may not even see the shipping containers. Every location has its own context, so we are working to create a unique experience with each project.

For KTGY, it all started with Hope on Alvarado, but currently the firm has half a dozen projects utilizing shipping containers in various stages of design. “We’re seeing two different delivery methods. The conversion of existing shipping containers into residential units locally and residential units built in shipping container factories and shipped to the project site,” Labus explained. KTGY is working through issues of availability and scalability with its clients, consultant teams and contractors to make the most informed decisions. Different projects require different construction types, so there’s no one-size-container-that-fits-all solution.

Just like anything new, it may take some time to be more widely accepted and understood by local jurisdictions, developers, contractors and lending institutions,” Labus added. “If these first projects are successful, I think this can become a viable option for creating more affordable housing.

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