By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Meta Housing Corp. laid the foundation for the arts to play a central role in the lives of 49 households—and their neighbors—in San Pedro, Calif., with the opening of the Pacific Avenue Arts Colony, an affordable arts-focused apartment community near Long Beach, Calif., roughly 30 miles south of Los Angeles.
Meta Housing has developed three arts colony projects, but Pac Arts is its first such property that is not exclusive to senior residents. “We recognize the success of our senior arts colony concept, and we’ve seen the tremendous benefits these projects have delivered to cities and residents,” Chris Maffris, senior vice president at Meta Housing, told Commercial Property Executive.
Located at 303 S. Pacific Ave., Pac Arts was conceived to serve as a link to the neighboring San Pedro Arts, Culture & Entertainment District, or the Space District. The property, designed by Y&M Architects, features a full-scale professional art gallery space, and its collection of one- to three-bedroom residences includes six ground-floor live-work units for resident artists.
Living with art has its benefits. “By integrating the arts into affordable, quality housing, we are able to ignite active engagement and creative achievement among residents and their surrounding communities while also creating environments that serve as a catalyst for economic development,” Maffris said. “Based on those results, we knew that extending this concept to family housing would enable us to deepen the impact of our arts-focused communities and expand the reach of their benefits to new cities and new residents.”
Meta Housing developed Pac Arts in partnership with Western Community Housing, and secured financial support from the California Community Reinvestment Corp. and the Community Redevelopment Agency of the city of Los Angeles. Additionally, Bank of America, which has worked with the developer on 13 other projects, came through with construction financing and equity.