Councilman Parks at the openingPartnership Between Parks and CRA/LA Pays off Again
Buckingham Place Senior Apartments Open After 10 years
Councilmember Bernard C. Parks joined community leaders and key stakeholders in a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony this morning at Buckingham Place Senior Apartments located at 4020 Buckingham Road in Marlton Square.
Councilmember Parks worked alongside CRA/LA in choosing a new developer for the site to ensure it would be completed. Parks also sent out various letters of support to assist in gaining funds for the project.
"Toady's ribbon cutting brings to a conclusion a ten-year project that makes a very positive impact on housing for seniors within the local community," said Councilmember Parks. "The delay caused by foreclosure and bankruptcy is unfortunate, but did not diminish the enthusiasm of those who currently occupy these 70 units within the facility."
Buckingham Place is an affordable housing project for seniors in South Los Angeles. It is an integral component of the surrounding Marlton Square redevelopment plan as it is the first building to be completed on the 22-acre site.
The opening of Buckingham Place Senior Apartments is a tremendous milestone for the Leimert Park/Baldwin Hills community. This project originally broke ground nearly 10 years ago and has since faced a series of obstacles including bankruptcies and changing developers. In 2009 Meta Housing was chosen as the final developer on the project. They repainted and completed the building, and Buckingham Place can now welcome low-income seniors into a new home.
"This building is truly a miracle," said Graham Espley-Jones, President of Western Community Housing.
Buckingham Place features 70 new units including one manager's unit. It is a four-story building made up of both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. These affordable units target low¥ to moderate-income seniors. The property also has a community room and a courtyard area equipped with benches and outside barbeques.
"This accomplishment, along with recently securing Kaiser Permanente as a neighboring tenant in Marlton Square, is a positive sign for future development in the surrounding area," said Councilmember Bernard Parks. "Meta housing, Western Community Housing, CRA/LA and Congresswoman Maxine Waters all need to be commended as we look forward to completion of an additional 100 units in the future."
Councilmember Parks recently announced that Kaiser Permanente will be the newest tenant for the long-awaited Marlton Square Redevelopment Project. Kaiser, the nation's largest nonprofit health plan and hospital system, closed escrow on an 8.65 acre portion of land in Marlton Square next to Buckingham Place with the intention to construct an outpatient medical office building.
CMM is currently in negotiations to sell the remaining acres of Marlton Square. The CRA/LA and CMM, along with input from the council office, have accepted a number of bids for the retail portion of Marlton Square. The bids have been narrowed down to the best offers and there should be a developer chosen soon.
For the past several years, Marlton stood out like a sore thumb amidst numerous development projects and neighborhood improvements in the surrounding community.
¥ Capri Urban Partners invested $30 million into upgrading Phase I of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, including a major renovation of the mall's food court, pedestrian bridge over MLK Jr. Blvd., and a just recently completed $10 million renovation of the old Magic Johnson Theatres, which reopened in May, 2011 as Rave Motion Pictures. The new state-of-the-art theater features stadium seating and the latest digital technology, which can project in 3-D.
¥ Over $2 million was invested in the recently opened Buffalo Wild Wings in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, with over 120 permanent jobs created, the majority of which were local-hire.
¥ Restaurateur Brad Johnson constructed Post and Beam, an upscale sit-down family restaurant in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
¥ The MTA's planned $1.7 billion Crenshaw Light Rail Line will likely spur further development in the area, as well as planned improvements as part of the Crenshaw Visioning Project. That project, $14 million in Prop 1C funds, will provide street and sidewalk lighting improvements, streetscape improvements, new bus shelters, bike racks, street benches and trash receptacles along the Crenshaw corridor.
¥ In March 2011, Phase I of a planned $22 million renovation project began on the historic art deco Vision Theater in Leimert Park Village, built in 1931 by real estate developer Walter Leimert and eccentric billionaire aviator and film producer Howard Hughes. The CRA/LA purchased the property in 1999, and is working with Councilmember Parks and Department of Cultural Affairs to convert the former movie house into a full-scale performing arts center.