PALMDALE – After nearly eight years in development, construction is underway for the Palmdale Transit Village, an apartment and townhome community that will provide affordable housing close to major modes of transportation.
“This will bring us the type of development I think is the future of Southern California,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford.
Several city, county and state officials joined developers for a brief groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to celebrate the start of the project.
“Building a community where people don’t have to drive is the idea,” said Palmdale Housing Manager Mike Miller. “To be able to walk around the corner and catch the train down the hill to work, or to be able to grab a bus and go to the mall, or one day to be able to catch a shuttle and go to the airport… eventually the High Speed Rail will come right down next to this neighborhood.”
When completed, the Transit Village will consist of 156 rentable apartments that will be surrounded by 121 townhomes (16 one-bedroom, 72 two-bedroom, 12 three bedroom and 21 four bedroom).
The development will provide workforce housing as well as affordable housing opportunities for low income and moderate income households.
“When you look at affordable, a lot of people think low income housing and then you get the stereotype, and that’s very wrong,” said Miller. “When you talk about affordable for LA County, a family of four people making $48,000 a year, that’s considered affordable, so a lot of times we don’t really put into perspective what affordable is.”
Miller said the apartments will be constructed first and should be finished in about 18 months. He said the apartment units will be open for families of 8o percent median income for Los Angeles County and down to 50 percent. The townhomes will also be affordable to residents.
“The townhouses will be some market rate, and then it will have different levels of affordability, from 80 percent of the median income to 50 percent,” said Miller. “And then we have a Building Equity in Growth and Neighborhoods grant from the state that will help first time homebuyers buy a home.”
The project received $2.2 million in Prop 1c funds from the state to assist first time homeowners and another $9.9 million from the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program through the California Department of Housing and Community Development to start the project, Miller said.
The Transit Village is located next to the Palmdale Transportation Center, which serves as a Metrolink stop and is a proposed location for the Palmdale stop in the California High Speed Rail project.
The Transit Village is also in close proximity of Palmdale’s airport, the Antelope Valley Freeway, the proposed High Desert Corridor, the proposed Desert Xpress train to Las Vegas, and part of Palmdale’s overall vision to create an intermodal transportation hub unlike any other in the nation.