Real Estate

Van Nuys Sees Major Housing Boost with 168 New Units, 18 Affordable

Developers to transform Van Nuys with 168 new units, including 18 affordable homes, in a push for more inclusive housing.

By Doug Elli

5/15, 16:27 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • Developers plan to replace 10 residential units with 168 new ones in Van Nuys, including 18 affordable apartments.
  • The project requests a density bonus and waivers for height and parking, aiming to enhance housing availability.
  • Despite rising vacancy rates in Van Nuys, the development underscores ongoing investment in the area's residential sector.

A Bold Expansion in Van Nuys

In a significant move that underscores the evolving landscape of Los Angeles' housing market, Hidden Villas, owned by Vigen and Roselyn Haroutunian, has proposed a transformative residential project in Van Nuys. The plan, filed with the Los Angeles City Planning Department, outlines the demolition of 10 existing residential units, including seven affordable homes, to make way for a new development featuring 168 residential units, 18 of which will be designated as affordable. This ambitious project, situated at 13610 West Sherman Way, not only aims to increase the housing stock in one of San Fernando Valley's most populous neighborhoods but also introduces a commercial element to the area, potentially revitalizing the local community and economy.

The Project at a Glance

The Haroutunians' vision for the site they acquired in 2012 for $1.6 million involves erecting a five-story building covering 107,403 square feet. The ground floor will accommodate parking for 99 vehicles, a significant reduction from the 201 spots required under the L.A. building code, reflecting a strategic decision to maximize residential space. The upper floors are designed around a central courtyard, offering a mix of 109 studios, 52 one-bedroom, and seven two-bedroom apartments. Additionally, the project seeks a 45 percent density bonus, leveraging Los Angeles' incentives for developers to include affordable housing in their plans. This move not only addresses the critical need for more housing options but also aligns with broader efforts to make the city more inclusive.

Van Nuys: A Neighborhood in Transition

Van Nuys stands as a testament to the dynamic nature of Los Angeles' neighborhoods, with its affordable housing options and a vacancy rate that has slightly increased from 2.9 percent to 3.3 percent over the past year. The Haroutunians' project taps into this evolving market, promising to inject new life and density into the area. This development comes at a time when Los Angeles, like many major cities, grapples with housing shortages and affordability crises. By increasing the number of residential units and including affordable options, the project could serve as a model for future developments, balancing growth with inclusivity.

A Reflection on Urban Development

The proposed development by Hidden Villas is a microcosm of the broader trends affecting urban centers across the United States. As cities strive to accommodate growing populations and diversify their housing stock, developers like the Haroutunians play a pivotal role in shaping the urban fabric. Their project in Van Nuys, with its mix of residential and commercial components, reflects a nuanced approach to urban development, prioritizing density and affordability while navigating the complexities of local regulations and community needs. This development strategy, characterized by a significant reduction in parking space to allow for more housing units, highlights the shifting priorities in urban planning towards more sustainable and inclusive models of growth.