CDF Supports Affordable Housing
A rendering of the redeveloped Linda Vista Community Hospital

A New Starring Role — A Hollywood-friendly hospital site will soon become senior apartments

A historic former hospital in Los Angeles with a long list of film and TV credits will soon reopen its doors as affordable apartments for senior citizens.

The Linda Vista Community Hospital is being redeveloped by Agoura Hills-based AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. and the East LA Community Corporation (ELACC) to provide housing for low-income seniors in the Boyle Heights neighborhood, near downtown Los Angeles. Phase I of the two-phase project will convert the former nurses' dormitory on the site into 23 senior apartments.

In 1905, the original hospital opened under a different name to serve employees of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The facility was razed and rebuilt in 1924. Though Linda Vista Community Hospital closed in 1991, the six-story Mission Revival edifice later became popular as a setting for movies such as "Pearl Harbor" and "Outbreak," the pilot episode of TV's "E.R.," and numerous music videos. With its impressive façade and distinctive interior, the hospital provided an eerily haunted setting for mystery and science-fiction productions as well.

Construction on Phase I of the redevelopment began in June 2012; the $9 million effort is expected to be complete by February 2013. Union Bank's CDF group provided low-income housing tax credit equity and historic tax credit equity investments totaling $3.9 million. Other funding sources include $4.2 million in loans from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), administered by the Los Angeles Housing Department.

The next phase of the Linda Vista project will convert patient rooms in the main hospital building into up to 97 apartments. Once complete, the site will include a computer lab, fitness room, and common areas for the broader community to enjoy. AMCAL is partnering with ELACC on neighborhood outreach.

Thanks to AMCAL's partnership with LifeSTEPS, a support service provider, residents will have free access to services including computer training, referral services, and social events.

Plans for the redevelopment had to align to Linda Vista's historic features. "This site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so we're working carefully," said AMCAL Project Manager Kecia Boulware. "This is not a situation where you gut the building and rebuild from a blank canvas."

CDF Vice President Perica Bell said the project was especially attractive to Union Bank because it serves a closely knit community in Boyle Heights and represents an environmentally responsible adaptive reuse.