WESTLAKE : Apartments Provide Services With Shelter

Construction has started on two adjacent apartment buildings in the 700 blocks of Coronado and Carondelet streets that will offer tenants job-training programs, anti-gang services, computer facilities and community rooms.

The buildings--the 64-unit Marina Apartments and the 47-unit Mercedes Apartments--are a joint venture of Showplace Development Inc. and the Pico Union Housing Corp.

The apartments, scheduled for completion in early 1995 at an estimated combined cost of $16.2 million, will be available to low-income families who will have access to educational and social services coordinated by the Pico Union Housing Corp.

"We won't have just housing alone, we'll have a social services component, too," said Gloria Farias, president of the Pico Union Housing Corp. "We'll make these units graffiti-free and gang-free. That's the way housing should be."

City Councilman Mike Hernandez, who represents the Westlake community, called the projects "a combined and concentrated effort to bring quality surroundings to people that the system has traditionally ignored. There is much more to housing than four walls and a roof."

Monthly rents will range from $263 for one-bedroom units to $696 for four-bedroom housing. The construction crews must be at least 65% minorities and women, with 47% of the subcontractors and consultants to be certified woman- or minority-owned businesses.

The projects are being financed by the Century Freeway Housing Program, the Los Angeles Housing Department, the National Bank of Long Beach and the Savings Assn. Mortgage Co.

The two projects are named after the mothers of two members of the Pico Union Housing Corp.'s board of directors.

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