At luxury Glendale complex, a few will get steep discount

Most residents at a new downtown luxury apartment complex featuring a 26,000-square-foot sky deck, a dog park and high-tech gym will be paying $1,500 to $2850 a month, but for a select few, the price of admission will drop dramatically.

In the coming weeks, Eleve Lofts & Skydeck at 200 E. Broadway plans to open applications for low-income earners to live in 14 of the building’s units that will be priced about two-thirds, or more, below what other residents will be paying. The exact opening date of the application period has yet to be confirmed.

In exchange for providing the affordable rents for 14 units, which are no different from the others, the developer was allowed to add 70 more apartments than what would have been permitted by city zoning codes, as well as make some of them smaller than the 600-square-foot minimum, according to a city report.

Some units are as small as 375 square feet.

Although Councilman Ara Najarian said he wished the number of affordable units was higher, the developer is following state law, which the city has no control over.

“The public shouldn’t just think those buildings are for the rich and famous,” said Najarian, who has been critical of the Eleve Lofts & Skydeck despite voting to approve the project.

Glendale is experiencing a housing boom in downtown, with roughly 2,000 new units under construction or online. Piles of dirt, fences and cranes dot Central Avenue in downtown, which is undergoing its own road construction work.

But of all the new units slated for the area, only 69 are so far expected to be affordable, although that number may change if developers alter their plans, said Deputy Housing Director Peter Zovak.

Developers provide the affordable units in exchange for greater density, fewer parking spaces or other options allowed under state law. Six other multi-unit buildings in the works have promised between four and 22 affordable units, according to a city report.

Councilman Frank Quintero said providing incentives for developers to spend their own money — rather than public tax dollars — on affordable housing is important despite their relative scarcity.

“My thinking is, regardless of the number, it’s housing that the taxpayer didn’t pay for, so I think it works out for Glendale,” he said.

Much of Glendale’s affordable housing stock has been subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or property tax dollars from the city’s now defunct redevelopment agency.

Still, social service providers have long complained that Glendale doesn’t have enough. While a few fully-affordable developments are in the works, such as the 44-unit Veterans Village, public money for future projects may be hard to come by.

To qualify for the affordable units at Eleve Lofts & Skydeck — which run at $567 for a studio, $648 for a 1-bedroom and $729 for a 2-bedroom — prospective renters must make less than $29,900, $34,200 and $38,450 for a one-, two- and three-person household, respectively.

A tenant can remain in an affordable unit as long as they continue to meet the income qualifications, however, rents may change annually as they are adjusted by state officials.

Applicants can visit the city’s affordable housing webpage, or call (818) 551-6902 for more information.

-- Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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