Affordable Housing - ACE 121 Opens in Glendale

First of its kind affordable housing for artists opens in Glendale

More than 270 people recently gathered to witness the grand opening of the highly anticipated Glendale Arts Colony, now called Ace 121, an affordable housing development designed by Long Beach, Calif. based Studio One Eleven. The approximately 80,000 square-foot development, which is located in Glendale, Calif, was specifically designed to attract and support artists and their families. In keeping with the theme of the project, the 70-unit apartment complex includes an 800-square-foot, tenant-run art gallery which showcased new residents’ artwork for the opening. Meta Housing Corporation is the developer on the project.

“As architects, we are advocates of both art and science,” said Michael Bohn, senior principal and design director, Studio One Eleven. “Our team took great joy in creating an affordable place for artists not only with safety and shelter, but also facilitates beauty and creativity. Ace 121 is designed to intersect this community with a flourishing arts culture. It is a perfect environment for the artist to thrive and their art to come alive.”

Ace 121 is a result of the City of Glendale Arts and Culture and Planning Commission’s vision for a defined Downtown Art and Entertainment District anchored by the Alex Theatre, the Central Library, the Museum of Neon Art and the Antaeus Theatre Company. As the architect on the project, Studio One Eleven designed the residential project to comprehensively support the arts and its resident artists.

Units facing the podium courtyard were designed to include large patios and roll-up doors to allow artists to work outside. Additionally, the garden was modeled to accommodate art that will be for sale during scheduled public openings. The ground floor lofts include private outdoor working terraces, and units above provide “eyes on the street” that result in a safer, more inviting pedestrian environment. With a vision to incorporate a green and environmentally sustainable living experience for its tenants, the Ace 121 project is targeting LEED Gold certification.

“While designating an “arts district” can gentrify a neighborhood and drive artists out, Ace 121 preserves artist’s affordable housing long-term through a 55-year deed restriction, ultimately allowing art to be created, promoted, and sold in the same community,” said president of Meta Housing Corporation, Kasey M. Burke.

In addition to the art gallery, the facility contains a “maker space” with equipment that includes kilns and pottery wheels, a digital and media lab, a music room, a performing arts room, a community room and a courtyard.

Ace 121 is located in the center of Glendale, one block from the Glendale Galleria shopping mall and surrounded by several bus stops including the Glendale Transportation Center which provides residents with easy access to the entire LA metro area via the Metrolink train system.

With a choice between the loft and traditional layouts, Ace 121 provides several one-, two- and three-bedroom open-concept floor plans for residents. The design of each layout maximizes space and includes large kitchens, ample closet space and provides residents with plenty of natural light.

The Studio One Eleven project team included Michael Bohn, senior principal; Brad Leeds, project manager; and Reed Suzuki, design manager. Additional project team members included Meta Housing Corporation, the developer; and EngAGE, the service provider for the residents.

This project joins a number of other Studio One Eleven-designed multifamily projects in the greater Los Angeles area and is currently 100 percent leased. Additional Studio One Eleven-designed projects include the Long Beach Senior Arts Colony, Santa Ana Arts Collective and the Collage.