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LINC in the News
The Spark at Midtown, a 95-unit affordable housing complex, is just the beginning of new development in Central Long Beach
Long Beach Press-Telegram, March 20, 2019
By Hayley Munguia

Walking around downtown Long Beach, it’s hard to miss the ubiquitous hard hats, cranes and mid-construction skyscrapers. The neighborhood is without question the epicenter of the city’s development boom — but those investments are crawling northward.

Central Long Beach is the latest home of new development. City and county officials broke ground on Wednesday, March 20, on the Spark at Midtown, a new five-story, 95-unit affordable housing complex — one of 22 new developments in the Central Long Beach area that Mayor Robert Garcia touted in last year’s “Building a Better Long Beach” address.

Seven of the 22 new Central Long Beach projects — including the Spark at Midtown, at 1900 Long Beach Blvd. — will offer affordable housing for residents who earn a fraction of the area’s median income. Another 10 of the 22 projects will provide housing that’s not designated as affordable.

Official break ground on the new 95-unit Spark at Midtown affordable housing complex in Long Beach on Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2019. The LINC Housing facility at 1900 Long Beach Blvd. is being built for homeless and low-income individuals and families. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

During Wednesday’s groundbreaking, Vice Mayor Dee Andrews and L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn addressed Southern California’s housing affordability crisis and lauded the Spark at Midtown as one small way to be part of the solution.

“This is an innovative project that works to address our housing crisis from every angle — lifting individuals out of homelessness, preventing low-income families from falling into homelessness, and providing wrap-around services through the county that keep residents happy, healthy, and housed,” Hahn said. “These are the kinds of developments that help neighborhoods to thrive.”

Long Beach’s Housing and Neighborhood Services Bureau Manager Patrick Ure said the Spark at Midtown is just the beginning. Two more affordable housing groundbreakings — one for Vistas del Puerto at 1836 Locust Ave., and one for Las Ventanas at 1795 Long Beach Blvd. — are scheduled for the coming weeks.

Combined, the three projects will add more than 250 affordable housing units to Central Long Beach, Ure said.

The $52.6 million Spark at Midtown project has been years in the making. During the 2017 meeting where the City Council voted to move ahead with finding grant funds for the Spark, Andrews said he was delighted that he could help provide more affordable housing to his residents in Long Beach’s 6th District.

“I’m very excited for this project and what it will mean to the community,” he said. “You know, housing in this city is a citywide challenge, and we’re in short supply. And what is available isnot affordable, so (the developer) has proposed an innovative development that will serve the community.”

The Spark at Midtown, which will consist of 47 one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom units, will devote half of its apartments to families earning up to 60 percent of the area’s median income, and the other half will be reserved for families who have been homeless.

Most residents will pay 30 percent of their income for their apartment. Rents range from $415 to $545 for a one-bedroom unit, $654 to $1,309 for two bedrooms, and $756 to $1,512 for three bedrooms.

Along with the housing units, the building will also include a computer lab, a community garden and private meeting rooms that residents can use to connect with service providers and case managers. The L.A. County Department of Health Services will offer case management, and the developer, LINC Housing, will also provide free after-school and summer programs, as well as classes on health, job skills, financial literacy and more.

The building’s ground floor will house the YMCA’s Long Beach Youth Institute, a St. Mary Medical Center health clinic and a Mental Health America cafe that will provide workforce training.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by late 2020.

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