An Oasis in the Middle of Koreatown

Rosemary bushes, lush Japanese maple trees and succulent plants in large planters welcome new residents and visitors to the Normadie Terrance Apartments, a new 66-unit affordable housing complex in the heart of Koreatown.

The 79,265-square-foot energy and environmentally efficient facility, is part of Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas’ ongoing effort to substantially increase the number of affordable housing units in the Second District. Since 2009, Chairman Ridley-Thomas has overseen and supported the construction and completion of 15 affordable housing complexes for low-income residents in the district with an additional seven housing developments currently underway.

All of the affordable housing complexes are contemporary standouts, including the Normandie Terrace Apartments, which occupies the whole city-block between Normandie and Mariposa Avenue. Units in the newest complex are furnished with energy saving kitchen appliances, hardwood flooring and granite counter tops. Families can meet and children play in the community room, a large space bursting with colorful artwork on its walls, or use the computer lab with free Internet access. Social services are located on the first floor where resume writing workshops and money management classes are held. In the upcoming months, tenants will also be able to learn about nutritional eating and domestic violence awareness.

The new apartments are a welcome change for Seung Hee Kang, 42, who use to live in a three-bedroom, low-income apartment near Chinatown with his family of four.

“I’m married with three-kids, one boy and two girls,” said Kang. “I liked where I lived before, but this is better. Living in the apartments here is very convenient because I’m Korean and the apartment is in Koreatown. We are able to walk to the Korean market, my daughter’s school is nearby and learning ballet at the nearby studio, and my church is nearby.”

Located less than a mile from the Metro train station at Wilshire Boulevard and Normandie Avenue, tenants have easy access to public transportation. The units are available for families earning approximately $17,400 to $57,660 per year. In addition, 33 of the units at the complex are designated for families earning less than $25,000 a year.

The John Stewart Company, one of the largest affordable housing providers in California, is managing the units. The company received more than 3,500 applications for a unit in Normandie Terrace from eager residents hoping to find an affordable and decent place to live.

“There is a great need for affordable housing in our county—one of the country’s most expensive areas in which to live,” said the supervisor. “This project stands as a shining example of what redevelopment can accomplish – a facility that is not only beautiful but includes amenities and services that will help tenants to thrive.”