Senior Affordable Housing : atelier V celebrates the grand opening of Santa Monica project

Westwood, California

The long anticipated Ocean Breeze affordable senior housing complex located at 1458 14th street in the city of Santa Monica, California celebrated its grand opening today.  Officials and dignitaries from the City including Councilmember Richard Bloom and members of Santa Monica Department of Housing and Economic Development as well as MacFarlane Costa Housing Partners’ President, Mr. Michael Costa, the Owners of the project were amongst those present at the ceremonies.  The project initially received its Architectural Review Board (ARB) approval back in February of 2006 but did not start construction until fall of 2008. 

The complex sits atop a standard 7,500 sf corner lot at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and 14th Street in the Braodway Commercial District (BCD) with the main entry off Broadway Avenue.  It consists of 20-low income senior units on 4 above grade levels plus an 1,800 sf commercial component on the ground level.  There are 16 subterranean and one grade level parking spaces in the project.  Typical unit sizes are approximately 600 sf on a single loaded corridor configuration with a considerable set back on the fourth level allowing for generous open-air balconies.  The total project is approximately 15,700 sf taking advantage of a density bonus as well as reduced senior’s parking requirement that the City of Santa Monica offered.  ” The small site, limited access, differential grades, the program and the city zoning requirements presented unique challenges that we had to overcome.” says Mark Vaghei , AIA, atelier V’s Principal in charge of design.  Due to the differential of at least 18 inches in such a small site , atelier V had to devise a “Double Slab” solution to the problem.  The first slab is the projects main structural slab topped by a secondary sloping slab with structural foam separating the two.  This solution “…allowed on grade entrance and no steps to all units as well as to the commercial space thereby eliminating the need for handicap ramps.” says Mark Vaghei, AIA. 

The project is a 4- story Type V-A building with a typical shear wall and TJI construction.  The ground floor commercial open space is achieved through the use of a structural steel exposed braced system transferring the loads to the 14 inch reinforced concrete slab.  The exterior skin of the building is cement plaster and corrugated metal with Stainless steel cable railings.  ” We wanted to break away from the norms of low income housing design and give our client something extra without going overboard.  Fortunately there was precedence in Santa Monica for this objective to take shape.  We feel that we were able to achieve design excellence without being trendy and belonging to a any particular era.  Of course time will tell!” says Mark Vaghei.

Total cost of the project came in at $11.20 M.  City of Santa Monica contributed $5.0 M and there were $3.0 M of tax credits which were later converted into a grant through the Stimulus Program.

atelier V would like to thank Mr. Michael Costa, Mr. Pierre  Harispuru, Ms. Tara Baraukas, and Richard Cardoza of MacFarlane Costa Housing Partners, our Client.  Atelier V would also like to thank everyone at the City of Santa Monica including but not limited to Councilmember Richard Bloom, Ms. Ava Lee, Mr. James Kemper and Mr. Andy Agle (Santa Monica Department of Housing and Economic Development) and our construction partners at Alpha Construction especially Messieurs’ Irv Laxineta, John Ambicki, Louis Laxineta and Terry Christensen.  Last but not least, atelier V thanks everyone at the City of Santa Monica’s Departments of Planning and Building and Safety for their invaluable contributions including but not limited to:  Ms. Grace Choo,  Beth Rolandson, Mr. Orville Sabado and Mr. Antonio Shaibani.

For more information and photos on this and other atelier V projects, please visit : www.atelierv.com  projects/residential/Ocean Breeze Apartments


Structual Engineer :  Berkoz and Associates , Mr. Ertunga Berkoz, Mr. Naci Berkoz

MEP Engineer :  Shamim Engineering, Inc., Mr. Mark Shamim, Mr. Kevin Shamim

Civil Engineer :  Warren Goeke and Associates, Mr. Warren Goeke

General Contractor : Alpha Construction, Mr. John Ambicki, Mr. Louise Laxineta

Photography : Mark Vaghei and Nataliaphotostudio