New affordable apartments in Glendale are geared toward artists

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Developer Meta Housing Corporation announced Wednesday that it has completed work on a new affordable apartment complex in Glendale. Called ACE/121, the five-story structure features 70 units of housing set aside for artists.

First the bad news: If you’re sharpening your charcoal pencil to fill out an application, we’ll have to disappoint you. The building will open fully leased, according to a spokesperson for the developer.

Meta Housing collaborated with the city of Glendale, the YMCA of Glendale, and Western Community Housing on the project, which also includes an 800-square-foot gallery, a room dedicated to the visual arts, multiple music and dance rooms, and a “makerspace.”

All these features will be available to residents, who will manage and operate the gallery on a cooperative basis. EngAGE, a nonprofit, will program art projects and activities for residents.

Located at 121 North Kenwood Street, the building is adjacent to Glendale’s recently rebranded Downtown Arts and Entertainment District along Maryland Ave.

“In many cases, defining an Arts District can lead to gentrification and rent increases that drive artists out,” Kasey Burke, president of Meta Housing, says in a press release. “However, the city of Glendale sought out a partner that could deliver a unique artistic experience while preserving affordability, which is exactly what we provided.”

Project investor Bank of America Merrill Lynch apparently agrees. Senior Vice President Charmaine Atherton says the bank “is committed to investments that deliver deep social benefits to communities at large.”

Long Beach-based architecture firm Studio One Eleven designed the complex, which consists of one, two, and three-bedroom units with large protruding balconies. The units are set aside for residents making a range of incomes, all under 60 percent of the median income in Los Angeles County.

In addition to the art spaces, residential amenities include a computer lab, toddler play area, and a designated space for tutoring.

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