Waterford, Development Authority Jointly Acquire Metro LA Apartments for $300M, Plan Workforce Housing Conversion

by Amy Works

GLENDALE, CALIF. — Waterford Property Co., in partnership with the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA), has purchased Altana, an apartment community located at 633 N. Central Ave. in Glendale, for $300 million.

The partnership plans to convert the 507-unit property to workforce housing. Upon taking ownership, Waterford and CSCDA will immediately lower rents for qualified new residents making 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI) in Los Angeles County. Current tenants who qualify can participate in the program during lease renewals.

The AMI for Los Angeles County is $52,574 annually, which translates to roughly $4,381 per month. To be considered affordable, a household would need to spend less than 30 percent of its monthly income on rent. For Los Angeles County and Glendale, this means that rents equal to or less than $1,314.30 per month are deemed affordable for households earning 100 percent of AMI.

Rental rates at Altana currently range from $2,235 per month for a one-bedroom unit to $4,340 for a two-bedroom apartment and loft layout, according to the property website.

In partnership with CSCDA, Waterford has now acquired four multifamily communities in California since the start of the year as part of CSCDA’s Workforce Housing Program created in 2020. The other three include the 216-unit Oceanaire in Long Beach and the 400-unit Jefferson Platinum Triangle and 386-unit Parallel Apartments, both in Anaheim.

CSCDA’s Workforce Housing Program addresses housing shortages for the proverbial “missing middle,” meaning individuals and families who earn too much to qualify for traditional affordable housing but not enough to afford market-rate rents in the communities where they work. Workforce housing is not eligible for tax credits, private activity bonds or most other federal, state or local government subsidies, according to CSCDA.

Through the program, CSCDA issues government bonds to private partners such as Waterford to acquire market-rate apartment buildings. In addition to the rent reduction, no tenants are displaced and annual rent increases are capped at no more than 4 percent.

“We’re providing a housing solution for California cities,” says Sean Rawson, co-founder of Waterford. “This program benefits essential workers such as teachers, police officers and firefighters who are important to the fabric of a community, yet many times can’t afford to live in the very cities they serve.”

“This program is just being rolled out across California but we’re already realizing its benefits since the reduced rent can be put into place immediately,” adds John Drachman, co-founder of Waterford.

Built in 2017, Altana features one acre of private open space, rooftop pools, a Zen garden, demonstration kitchen and a yoga room. Other amenities include a fitness center, outdoor fitness classes, coworking space and a private screening room.

Joseph Smolen, Geoff Boler and Lee Redmond of Eastdil Secured represented Waterford and CSCDA in the transaction. The seller was not disclosed.

Waterford is a real estate investment and development company that has acquired or developed $1.2 billion in multifamily and commercial properties. The firm’s expertise includes entitling large mixed-use projects throughout Southern California, repositioning existing commercial properties and developing affordable housing communities.

CSCDA is a joint powers authority founded by the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties in 1988 to give local government and eligible private entities access to low-cost, tax-exempt financing for projects that provide a tangible public benefit, including affordable and workforce housing.

The authority comprises more than 530 cities, counties and special districts in California. CSCDA has issued more than $65 billion in various financing programs across more than 1,700 transactions. Since its inception, the organization has financed the construction or preservation of nearly 100,000 affordable units throughout California.

— Amy Works and John Nelson

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